Aaron Tindall soars with Yellowbird

For his sophomore release, tuba virtuoso Aaron Tindall presents music that blends classical and jazz. And it works really, really well.

Tindall’s masterful technique makes the tuba a truly lyrical instrument. His playing has exceptional clarity throughout the registers — no mean feat.

And his musical phrasing is spot on. Many times classical artists who attempt jazz end up sounding stiff. They don’t quite grasp the subtle swing that’s at the core of the genre.

Aaron Tindall does. And that makes this disc of interest to both classical and jazz lovers.

Jimmy Roles tune, “The Peacocks,” the opening track, sets the stage. It’s a short selection that quickly establishes Tindall’s jazz chops.

The heart of the album is Claude Bolling’s “Suite for Cello and Jazz Piano Trio.” The composition was a breakout recording for Yo-Yo Ma, and Tindall’s version is just as good.

Tindall has an easy give-and-take with his backing musicians. That free-flowing collaboration is essential for jazz, and it’s another reason this album succeeds.

And the last piece, “The Yellow Bird” expands Tinsdale’s explorations even further. Fred Tackett of Little Feat wrote it for Tinsdale’s tuba instructor and it moves through classical, jazz, rock, and even funk.

Shelly Berg, piano, Chuck Bergeron, bass, and Svet Stoyanov, drums, are all masterful musicians. There is some tasty playing going on here. Easily recommended for anyone who enjoys a little genre-mixing now and then.

Aaron Tindall, tuba; Shelly Berg, piano; Chuck Bergeron, bass; Svet Stoyanov, drums
Bridge Records 9536

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