Seattle trumpeter Chad McCullough has been working hard to garner a reputation in his hometown and beyond as a versatile, creative musician. McCullough has performed with a wide range of artists, including Jay Thomas, Claudio Roditi, Marc Seales, Thomas Marriott, Ingrid Jensen and Bob Florence. He’s toured extensively with the Glenn Miller Orchestra in the jazz trumpet chair, and also as the band’s pianist …
McCullough’s debut recording, Dark Wood, Dark Water (Origin Records, 2009), taken from the title of a poem by American poet Sylvia Plath (1932-1963), is a strong debut, emphasizing the 27-year-old trumpeter’s prowess as an improviser who demonstrates an understanding of the rich lineage of jazz trumpet.
The disc also showcases clearly defined compositions, arranged for sextet and custom-fit to the individual strengths of what McCullough calls his “Dream Team” of musicians: alto saxophonist Mark Taylor, tenor saxophonist Geof Bradfield, pianist Bill Anschell, bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer Bishop.
All About Jazz: Each of the nine tracks on Dark Wood, Dark Water has a distinct character. There are no two pieces that sound alike.
Chad McCullough: I’ve been working on a lot of those tunes, in some form or another, for awhile. The material for the recording has developed over time. Also, I knew I was going to have Mark, Geof, Bill, Jeff and John on the record and I wanted to write specifically for them so I could highlight them individually and as an ensemble. It wasn’t really a conscious decision of having one tune in 7/4, one with a Latin feel, etc. It was more about wanting to have a tune that Jeff would sound really good on, or one that I could show to John and he would be able to instantly understand where I’m coming from.