Composer, arranger, and trombonist Jimmy O’Connell mainly plays straight-ahead jazz tunes on Arrhythmia with his band Sixtet, but it doesn’t mean the tracks lack innovation, creativity, or personality. On the contrary, his original works show he has a liking for swing-based rhythms layered in multiple tiers as the horns play on top of the keys, bass, and drums. His propensity for listening to music loaded with texture and lightweight grooves make the recording easy on the ears, placing no demands on the listener other than to enjoy the experience.
The elevating notes of Andrew Gould’s saxophone soars across the title track, moving independent of Peter Slavov’s bass grooves and the cool strut of Andrew Renfroe’s guitar chords. The candlelight glow of “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” is bolstered by the graceful sweeps of O’Connell’s trombone and Jake Robinson’s wispy drum strokes, making for a relaxing experience. Putting the listener in a reclining position is a recurring theme throughout the album as the smooth languid lines of O’Connell’s trombone along “(Mille) in June” blanket the melody in a creamy texture.
Influences of straight-ahead jazz models can be found in “Solidarity” and “Crayons” as the comfy gait of the instruments is cushioned by the soft rhythmic paddling of the bass and drums. The waltzing tempo of the horns wandering with a free spirit through “Lament” radiates an ambient vista and pulsates an afterhours joviality in “Gray Matter” as the upbeat rhythm of “Bolivia” infuses a festive atmosphere into the recording.
The Jimmy O’ Connell Sixtet creates music for the sole purpose of giving listeners an enjoyable aural experience. The instruments move in sync with one another, demonstrating an intuitive rapport that has everyone moving in unison as a solid unit. Intentional or not, the music is made for the listener’s pleasure.
Jimmy O’Connell-trombone, Andrew Gould-alto saxophone, Andrew Renfroe-guitar, Tuomo Uusitalo-keyboards, Peter Slavov-bass, Jimmy MacBride-drums
“Lament,” “Gray Matter,” “Bolivia,” “Arrhythmia,” “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” “(Millie) in June,” “Crayons,” “Solidarity”