“Vincent Chancey is an asset to any ensemble, in addition to being a fabulous soloist on an instrument that is finally winning some credibility in jazz.”
“Vincent Chancey was a dramatic improviser with big interval leaps and silences underscoring his ideas.“
“Chancey leads his horn where no man has gone before. The french horn makes a lovely lead instrument; it’s warm vibrato tone sliding around notes, supporting other instruments and soaring off into expressive solos.“
“Vincent Chancey’s tone, strong and comparatively rough, dovetails with his swingy control of the instrument’s tough fingering system, while his respect for the horn’s idiosyncrasies lets him play pure jazz.“
“Vincent Chancey’s french horn on a swinging blues riff or a loose calypso melody, the result is a wonderfully bright and vital ensemble sound.“
“Vincent Chancey’s nimble fingers and jazz singer tones made french horn history with its facility.”
“Chancey’s playing has a remarkable mobility.”
“Chancey maneuvers his ax in a wonderful relaxed way. He plays naturally, as though the horn were simply a vessel through which his thoughts and feelings are expressed.”
Steven A. Loewy
Cadence Jazz World
The Spell Review
Avant Music News
A trio led by French hornist Vincent Chancey and including the late double bassist Wilber Morris and the percussionist Warren Smith. All three musicians are or were highly accomplished practitioners of the art; Chancey, whose name may be less familiar to many, spent the mid 1970s in Sun Ra’s Arkestra and the 1980s in Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy and the David Murray Big Band. The Spell is an archival recording made in the Kraine Art Gallery in New York City in October of 1987; the sound quality is somewhat raw and the audio field shallow–as one might reasonably expect from the on-the-spot technology of the time–but the performances come through clearly and eloquently. Chancey takes an unlikely candidate for lead instrument in a jazz setting and plays it nimbly; Morris and Smith respond with both power and subtlety. The group’s sui generis makeup lends the collective sound a warm, wine-dark quality which is only emphasized when the keys turn minor, as they do in the first piece, a composition by Morris. What keeps the music from being confined to a narrow range of timbres is Morris’ moving back and forth between arco and pizzicato and Smith’s use of mallet percussion. The subtle framing effect this has on Chancey’s horn comes out particularly well on the fourth track, another Morris composition, where first double bass and then mallet percussion play in unison with the horn. The Spell is a rewarding album and another example of No Business’ making available historic performances that otherwise would undeservedly be forgotten.
Welcome Mr. Chancey Review
This gem of a debut album truly sparkles. Chancey makes his French horn sing on the title cut “Welcome Mr. Chancey”. With songs such as A Day in Ocho Rios or Barefoot Bahian Girl, this could well be called “A Week in Brazil.” Listening to the album, you feel as though you are transported to Bahia, with sound ranging from the upbeat “The Man Say Something to the haunting song “The Spell”. “The Spell” is a beautiful, enticing and hypnotic tune. If music were food this would be a crème brulee-smooth and sweet. “The Spell” highlights the talent of bassist Kevin Bruce Harris as well as guitarist David Gilmore and drummer Ronnie Burrage. Starting slowly, the music builds to a crescendo, subtly yet Directly at the same time. Although the entire album shines, “The Spell” is probably the best cut and should become a classic if heard by enough people. Chancey composed all songs on the album except “Chazz”, a slower piece written by Wilber Morris. Chancey’s French horn has all the strength of a baritone sax yet merged with a deeper, richer sound. The slower songs such as “The Spell” and “Ocho Rios” remind one of basking in a long lazy autumn day when it feels like true darkness will never come. In “Ocho Rios” Chancey and company reverts to a slower more swinging groove. Gilmore’s guitar quietly backs up Chancey’s horn. The longest track on the album, one wonders if this piece is indicative of where Chancey should focus his energy with a beat not too fast nor too slow. Fast songs like “A Night to Remember” evokes images of raucous partying. With “Barefoot Bahian Girl”, the driving samba pulsates with grace and eloquence. This highly danceable tune is reminiscent of Dizzy Gillespie’s style. Here, Gilmore on guitar really struts his talent as he and Chancey bounce off each other’s playing. Bravo. This song is a joyous one that reminds one of all the pleasures of Carnival and Brazil. If “The Spell” is like a lazy autumn day, then Night is hot summer evening full of drinking, dancing, and remembrances. All in all, this is a musical pleasure.