Reviews

"Over the years we have heard numerous charts of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” to include the most prominent done for the Woody Herman big band in the 1970s. Easily one of the strongest of the batch, Taylor’s chart does a fine job of keeping the focus in the center of the target. The tune already has a signature harmonic and melodic pattern we expect. Taylor adeptly integrates material from Coltrane’s famous solo lines into the sax soli, but making it his own. Jim McFalls (trombone) and Ted Baker nail the challenging chord changes and Todd Harrison gives some great featured drumming to bring it home."

- Jack Cooper, www.jazzreader.com, September, 2015.

"As a band, Virginia Coalition has been at it professionally for about 15 years. Unprofessionally since we were about 15 years old, so chronologically speaking we have been at it for a VERY. LONG. TIME. And we can all say unreservedly that Jim McFalls is an absolute MASTER on his instrument. We managed to have a rock solid performance to a sold out crowd with him on trombone with one rehearsal. Yes you heard that correctly. If you need a trombone for any reason or occasion and you live in the D.C./Baltimore area, Mr. McFalls is quite literally your only legitimate choice."

- Adam Dawson, drummer with Virginia Coalition, commenting on the band's 12/17/11 performance at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC.

"Opening with "Distressing Disguise," DiBlasio and his front line partner, trombonist Jim McFalls, ride a fluid forward momentum with some smooth unison blowing, leading into McFalls' smooth-as-butter solo."

- Dan McClenaghan review of the Denis DiBlasio Quintet recording "Where the Jade Buddha Lives", All About Jazz, December, 2011.

"When I saw the words “The Chordless Project”, I was initially worried—I find chord sequences oddly reassuring in improvisation—but I need have had no anxiety. This project harks back to the pianoless quartet co-led by Gerry Mulligan and Bob Brookmeyer, but it has a more assertive nature. Many tribute CDs hew very closely to the original intent and repertoire: I imagine co-leaders DiBlasio and McFalls having a good time playing together—rousing, dense improvisations on everything from “I Got Rhythm” changes to “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” into a left-handed, delicate “Jingle Bells” to two originals. Although both horns can charge into a unison line, they are also capable of pensive delicacy and lightness. For a quartet, they get a delightful amount of variety from track to track—not only in repertoire, but in tempo, volume, and approach—including Di Blasio’s fire-eating scat singing and his Kirk-inspired flute playing. Miller and Verner fit right in—on the calypso “Joe’s Vacation” and the very fast concluding Blues. This time, I understood perfectly why the live audience applauded fervently at the end of each song."

- Michael Steinman review of the DiBlasio/McFalls CD "Caravan - The Chordless Project", October, 2010 in Cadence Magazine.

"The leaders take two risks that shouldn't be tried at home: They go piano-less, without a chord-giving instrument, and they play some tunes so moldy that they risk derision...Denis DiBlasio pulls off stunts like this all the time and makes them work...as tonally adroit as he is amusing, and both skills are on play in this live set. His foil, trombonist Jim McFalls, a 17-year veteran of the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors, is no slouch either...turning the calypso-like 'Joe's Vacation' into a brassy, barnyard slugfest. ...(T)his motoring quartet...find(s) unheard sonorities in 'Jingle Bells' and 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home.' The kicker of 'Rapid Transit' comes when DiBlasio and McFalls, in the midst of a wide-ranging duet solo, meet up on the melody of 'Jesus Christ Superstar.' Now that's groovin' high."

- Philadelphia Inquirer review of the new DiBlasio/McFalls CD "Caravan - The Chordless Project", May 30, 2010.

"Trombonist Jim McFalls is stellar throughout on solos and in the highly effective front line with DiBlasio on baritone sax."

- Don Lerman's review of the Denis DiBlasio Quintet recording "Where the Jade Buddha Lives", Cadence Magazine, April-May-June 2008 issue.

"Jim McFalls is an original talent on trombone, playing slightly skewed lines before spiking the intensity leading into a powerful shout"

- Mark Taylor's liner notes about Maiden Voyage from his latest recording, "The Taylor/Fidyk Big Band Live At Blues Alley."

"Flow and energy is diverted to a solo section, featuring the finesse of trombonist Jim McFalls complete with a Harmon mute even further hammering home the timbral shifts found throughout."

- Brandt Payne's review of the selection "My Favorite Things" from the Capitol Bones Big Band recording "A Stan Kenton Christmas", ITA Journal, April 2005.

"For me the most head-spinning moment on the session is a vocalese unison chorus featuring Christina and trombonist Jim McFalls--it's as melodically inventive as it is sonically surprising."

- Samuel Chell's review of the selection "Down With Love" from the Christina Crerar recording "Little Jazz Bird", CD Baby, 2005.

"The tone is set by the band's take on the Camelot theme, one of many arrangements by pianist Vince Norman. The light, airy melody floats deliberately above the feathery punctuations of drummer Todd Harrison. The solo by trombonist Jim McFalls seemed out of place at first, as he had not played one note prior, but it's a solo of such sculpted charm that all is quickly forgiven. McFalls also solos on track #2, which is backed by a lush orchestra that evokes MGM's heyday."

- Todd Jenkins' review of The Capitol Quartet's "Anything Goes" for "All About Jazz".

"McFalls' Rosolino influenced playing (on Decoupage) is a joy..."

- George Broussard's review of "Epistrophy" from Matt Niess and The Capitol Bones, ITA Journal, January 2003.

"Jazz is freedom. Now, you think about that."
- Thelonious Monk

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