In tribute to Miles Davis’ landmark fifty-year-old Birth Of The Cool
Capitol album, Summit Records has put together an ensemble featuring like instrumental timbres. Greg Hopkins conducts and leads with stirring trumpet melodies while Chuck Marohnic and Sam Pilafian lend piano and tuba depth to the session. The album’s cover art, provided by the estate of Miles Davis, is the trumpeter’s painting "Jazz," which depicts him at work with a trio. The album cover, which is representative of Davis’ other paintings, may be viewed from Summit Records’ catalog site at http://www.summitrecords.com
Mixing the new with the old, this Jazz Nonet performs "Boplicity," "Israel" and "Moon Dreams" from direct transcriptions. While Pilafian assumes a supporting role for this session, Hopkins contributes three pieces that pay a tribute in his own way. The longest is "Mystic Valley," which gives everyone a share of the spotlight. Even flute and clarinet are blended in, as the trumpeter demonstrates powerful chops and spontaneous ideas. Hopkins’ reverence for a ballad comes to light on "Bas Relief," which has a smoother approach and a laid-back natural serenity. Marohnic performs his own "Just Blues" alone at the piano, expressively, capturing a timeless mood of relaxed toe-tapping jazz that all generations can appreciate.
Personnel: Greg Hopkins- trumpet; Gary Carney, Russell Scarbrough- trombone; Samuel Pilafian- tuba; Scott Zimmer- alto sax; Bryon Ruth- alto sax, tenor sax; Steven Von Wald- baritone sax; Chuck Marohnic- piano; Ed Friedland- bass; Dom Moio- drums.