Urban Transport's 2004 debut Introducing Urban Transport wasn't a solid representation of how good this jazz quintet really is, so it's best to experience them live. Hence, this, the group's sophomore offering, recorded last year at Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor.
Most upstart jazz bands wait years before they dare to record live. But, for better or worse, Urban Transport has always bucked convention most notably by recording only original material. Where the band's debut was overwrought, this one is lean if not polished and alive. Five of its seven tracks were written by Transport frontman and trombonist Vincent Chandler, with alto saxophonist Dean Moore contributing the other two. Moore and pianist Scott Gwinnell are outstanding throughout this set; the saxophonist's tone is rich and soulful, a la sax men Frank Stozier and Hank Crawford. And while Gwinnell isn't the combo's regular player, he nonetheless gels effortlessly. (His solos on "Ode to Wayne" and "Seldom Blues" should make your neck hairs dance.) It's difficult to keep a jazz band together these days, but it's been four years, and Urban Transport is still bucking the odds.
Charles L. Latimer writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.