Doc Stewart Big Band Resuscitation: Code Blue! (2014)

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Doc Stewart Big Band Resuscitation: Code Blue!
"Doc" is much more than a nickname to Chris Stewart: it's a profession. And straight-ahead jazz is far more than a pastime: it's a passion. For the past sixteen years, Doc Stewart
Doc Stewart
Doc Stewart
b.1960
sax, alto
's day gig has been ER physician at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Scottsdale, AZ. Long before that, however, Stewart was a working musician who played alto sax with a number of big bands including those led by Tom Kubis, Ladd McIntosh, Matt Catingub
Matt Catingub
b.1961
, Louie Bellson
Louie Bellson
Louie Bellson
1924 - 2009
drums
, Toshiko Akiyoshi
Toshiko Akiyoshi
Toshiko Akiyoshi
b.1929
piano
/ Lew Tabackin
Lew Tabackin
Lew Tabackin
b.1940
sax, tenor
, Bill Watrous
Bill Watrous
Bill Watrous
b.1939
trombone
and (coincidentally) Doc Rutherford. He is also a well-known Julian "Cannonball" Adderley
Julian
Julian "Cannonball" Adderley
1928 - 1975
saxophone
historian / discographer who in 2005 recorded the album Phoenix: A Tribute to Cannonball Adderley.

Having affirmed Stewart's credentials, how's the music? Well, if he practices medicine as well as he plays alto, leads a band and chooses sidemen, Stewart's patients at the Mayo Clinic may rest assured they are in good hands indeed. The session opens, appropriately enough, with the graphic "Code Blue Suite," comprised of four surveys of the blues, the second of which ("Ironman Blues") sounds like something that might have been written by Med Flory
Med Flory
Med Flory
1926 - 2014
sax, tenor
for SuperSax. The suite was actually co-written by Stewart and Kubis. Next up is the first of two engaging compositions by Adderley, "The Sticks," followed by Kubis' lyrical "Homage to Bud Shank
Bud Shank
Bud Shank
1926 - 2009
saxophone
," Hal Galper
Hal Galper
Hal Galper
b.1938
piano
's sinuous "Snakin' the Grass" (complete with electronic enhancements), Stewart's charming salute to his wife of thirty-four years, "Patty's Bossa," and Bobby Timmons
Bobby Timmons
Bobby Timmons
1935 - 1974
piano
' jazz evergreen, "Dis Here."

Catingub scored that one, as he did Adderley's graceful "Introduction to a Samba," the standard "Poor Butterfly" (on which the saxophone passages are breathtaking) and Charles Lloyd
Charles Lloyd
Charles Lloyd
b.1938
saxophone
's warm-hearted "Song My Lady Sings." Yet another Catingub arrangement, of the Jerome Kern standard "The Way You Look Tonight" (a second showcase for the sax section plus trombonist Andy Martin
Andy Martin
Andy Martin
b.1960
), leads to the fast-paced finale, Kubis' galvanic arrangement of Oscar Pettiford
Oscar Pettiford
Oscar Pettiford
1922 - 1960
bass
's "Bohemia After Dark" (with even more saxophone pyrotechnics). Stewart solos (tastefully, sometimes in Cannonball mode) on all but one of the album's fourteen numbers, amplifying incisive statements by trumpeters Jeff Bunnell, Wayne Bergeron
Wayne Bergeron
Wayne Bergeron

trumpet
and Ron Stout; trombonists Martin, Scott Kyle and Bill Reichenbach; alto Catingub, tenor Bill Liston and drummer Steve Moretti. Longtime friends Stewart and Catingub share blowing space (briefly) on "Bud Shank" and "Song My Lady Sings."

No matter how many miles are on your odometer or what shape you are in, Code Blue! could be just what the doctor ordered.

Track Listing: The Code Blue Suite (Code Pink / Ironman Blues / The Last Breath Blues / Code Jesus); The Sticks; Homage to Bud Shank; Snakin’ the Grass; Patty’s Bossa; Dis Here; Introduction to a Samba; Poor Butterfly; Song My Lady Sings; The Way You Look Tonight; Bohemia After Dark.

Personnel: Doc Stewart: leader, alto sax; Wayne Bergeron: trumpet, flugelhorn; Dan Fornero: trumpet, flugelhorn; Jeff Bunnell: trumpet, flugelhorn; Ron Stout: trumpet, flugelhorn; Kye Palmer: trumpet, fllugelhorn; Larry Hall: trumpet, flugelhorn; Dan Higgins, Bill Liston, Rusty Higgins, Greg Huckins, Alex Budman: woodwinds; Andy Martin: trombone; Alex Iles: trombone; Scott Kyle: trombone; Bill Reichenbach: bass trombone; Matt Catingub: piano, keyboard; Kevin Axt: acoustic, electric bass; Steve Moretti: drums.

Record Label: Cannonball Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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