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Preacher Man

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Album Review

Influenced by Clark Terry and endorsed by Max Roach, trumpeter McGaha utilizes a simplified approach to his improvisations, and delves into many basic aspects of American music, not the least of which are bop, blues, ballads, standards, spiritual, and soulful elements. He has employed a quartet of up-and-comers, including pianist Lori Meecham, bassist Roger Spencer, and drummer Chris Brown. McGaha shines most brightly on ballads, and when he takes his time and builds solos, his patience pays off. Most alluring in this 13-song set list is "When I Fall in Love," or his original "Fruit of the Spirit." His soul-jazz inclinations are well served on the Bobby Timmons classic "This Here," replete with a piano-drum kit workout. As far as swing, he lays down the horn and scat sings on "This Little Light of Mine." Meecham's spatial McCoy Tyner-esque take on "In a Sentimental Mood" is quite reminiscent of Tyner and John Coltrane's modal classic "Wise One," while the New Orleans blues-funk number "Cookout," showcasing McGaha's muted wah-wah outcries, has shadings of Nat Adderley's "Work Song." A drunken, slow, bluesy title track, and the 12-bar "Joy Unspeakable," both again from McGaha's pen, provides a deep root strata. The most inventive piece is the modified melody of a cut-and-pasted "Lover" that goes back and forth from Kurt Weill-cum-Carla Bley wacked, to hard bop smokin'. The final selection, "Is Your All on the Altar," with church organ from Marc Harris, gives props to the one, a theme present throughout this recording. McGaha's sound is in a period of maturation, and future refinements will likely produce a truly new and original voice on the most difficult of all jazz instruments. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews


Rod McGaha's 'Precher Man' displays the work of an artist in touch with his soul. Preacher Man is a great vehicle for McGaha's technical mastery, but, what impressed this listener what his musicality, humour, and passion. He infuses alot of humor in this jazz/gospel mix. It's like a Blue Note Jazz session set in a church, and Rod is the minister of music trying to mix it up. You can hear many influences in his playing, the most obvious to me was Clark Terry. The technical proficiency to play this music, while still communicating a certain level of humanity, that's definitely C.T. style(listen to Splip, Bap, Boom & This Little Lite O' Mine). BUT... this energy and playfulness is all Rod. This is a must have...Anthropology for you JazzHeads(WHEW!).... Preach Brother! Preach!


Born: Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s

In addition to being a gifted jazz trumpet player, the multi-talented Rod McGaha is a composer, vocalist, lyricist, and producer. McGaha was born and raised in Chicago, where his jazz-loving father would play Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong records constantly, perking up his son's interest in music. By the fourth grade, McGaha was learning both the guitar and trumpet (but eventually gravitated to the trumpet full-time), as he looked to such modern day funk/dance acts as Parliament Funkadelic, James...
Full Bio
Preacher Man, Rod McGaha
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: May 18, 1999

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