by Ferell Aubre
Born and raised in New York, Kevin Quinn had the opportunity to absorb the cities rich jazz history growing up. At eighteen he began his formal training, and while attending the State University of New York at New Paltz, Quinn began to take an interest in jazz. He pursued a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies under the tutelage of Mark Dziuba, Vinnie Martucci, John Menegon, and Jeff “Siege” Siegel. After graduating, he began his career as a sound engineer at the ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn, NY., where he studied with bassist Matthew Garrison.
“Final Fantasy,” a Quinn original inspired by his brother, is an enjoyable waltz that has a melody that is given a nice orchestrated treatment with a two guitar and alto saxophone frontline. The hue of this instrumentation is interesting and the percussive attack of the two guitars, combined with the sustain of the alto saxophone offers nice colorization. The melody is developed nicely and having two guitars allows for chords to be placed at key accent points in the melody to add fullness and movement. Savitsky’s solo methodically builds with an emphasis on melodic flow. Quinn’s solo shows that his improvisations are just as cohesive as his written melodies. He takes the time to develop rhythmic and motivic ideas, building a musical journey through the chord progression. Dziuba’s solo picks up on Quinn’s themes and continues the journey for a seamless listening experience that is both pleasurable to listen to and creative.
The album offers an equal balance of flow and styles and the tunes are paced in a way that add to the arc of the overall album. “Telly Sevalas” is a Dziuba original that switches between straight-eights and swing for its feel variations. The melody has interesting layers and nice use of counterpoint and again, the two guitars are used to the fullest orchestrative effect. Quinn’s solo is right on the money! His clean tone has just the right amount of sustain and conveys his smart articulation vigorously, he weaves in and out of Siegel and Coleman’s buoyant swing feel. Dziuba and Quinn’s vocabulary pair agreeably and offer an enhanced semblance of sound. Savitsky’s solo is in the pocket and readily interactive with Siegel’s rhythmic commentary. Quinn and Dziuba’s listening is deep, as the two dance through the harmonic accompaniment without stepping on each other’s toes or getting in the way of Savitsky’s lines. Siegel’s drum solo is musical and interacts with the rhythmic ostinato created by the rest of the band.
What was thematically clear throughout Paramedic is each players ability to listen and know when not to play and when to colorize. For the listener, this is what makes the experience deepened, which offers great reward overall. Highly recommended.