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Review: George DeLancey's "Swing Spring"

The Young Bassist Returns With a New Album and a Batch of Original Compositions

Jazz bassist, George DeLancey, returns with an album of original compositions for an 11-piece big band. Don’t judge a book by its cover, but - my, oh my - what a cover. The featured artwork - Sophia Kayfas’ “West 10th'' - explodes with bright, springlike acrylics. If hooking a listener’s eye is necessary to hook their ears is the goal of a good album cover, then DeLancey and Kayfas succeed. The last time I checked in with George DeLancy was with his first solo album, Paradise, which also had outstanding cover art by Kayafas, see below for “Eve’s Big Moment”. A picture of the CD is below.

George DeLancey Album Paradise on CD featuring artwork from Sophia Kayfas

The sound on the new album is bright (maybe just a smidge too bright) and splashy with good instrumental separation and exhibits thoughtful mixing for such a large band. The vinyl pressing is flat, on-center, and very quiet. All the better to enjoy intimate tunes such as “Waltz in E” featuring DeLancey’s talent for conjuring a romantic melody guaranteed to elicit a twinkling eye, or two in the right circumstances. Stacey Dillard and Robert Edward’s solo work on this track is fabulously controlled, but Chris Pattishall’s keyboard playing underscores the song with grace and heaps of metropolitan polish. Pattishall’s solo work on the following song - “Man in the Moon” - is also acrobatically deft and carefully locked in with DeLancey’s upright groove. “Cold Shoulder '' leads off the album with plenty of bump and bop before the more thoughtful “Patience” arrives. 

George Delancey Album "Swing Springs" on vinyl record featuring artwork from Sophia Kayfas

The composer and bandleader has his say on the propulsive “Flashpoint” featuring a DeLancey bass solo. On the following track as well - “Two Step Away” - DeLancey takes an impressive solo. Again, Stacey Dillard wows on this album with his beautifully silky soprano sax soloing on the album’s final track, “Blind Love.” DeLancey saves the best for last; this is the album’s strongest track. 

DeLancey has written and arranged a batch of beautiful music which is a treat to enjoy in this day and age. As much fun as this album is to listen to, it’s appetizing to imagine watching DeLancey and a big band perform a live concert long after the sun has set on the Big Apple. They don’t often make ‘em - or, write ‘em - like this anymore.   

Music composed by George DeLancey

Engineered, mixed and mastered by Mike Perez-Cisneros at Big Orange Sheep, Brooklyn.

Assisted by Kevin Thomas and Jon Beshay.  


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