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Al Hood: Just a Little Taste: Al Hood Plays the Writing of Dave Henson (2008)

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Al Hood: Just a Little Taste: Al Hood Plays the Writing of Dave Henson How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

You might not know trumpet player Al Hood, but he's the pro's pro: he's toured with the official Harry James
Harry James
Harry James
b.1916
trumpet
and Glenn Miller
Glenn Miller
Glenn Miller
1904 - 1944
trombone
tribute bands, recorded and performed in ensembles led by Ray Charles
Ray Charles
Ray Charles
1930 - 2004
piano
, Curtis Fuller
Curtis Fuller
Curtis Fuller
b.1934
trombone
, Arturo Sandoval
Arturo Sandoval
Arturo Sandoval
b.1949
trumpet
and others, and is a longstanding member of the Denver Brass. He's also a tenured professor at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, as is pianist Dave Hanson, who played on and arranged this Little Taste, Hood's first date as a leader. "Dave's writing embodies the spirit of great writers such as Nelson Riddle
Nelson Riddle
Nelson Riddle
1921 - 1985
arranger
, Johnny Mandel
Johnny Mandel
Johnny Mandel
b.1925
arranger
, and Don Sebesky
Don Sebesky
b.1937
arranger
," says Hood.

Similarly, Hood's playing embodies the spirit of great popular trumpet players such as Herb Alpert

Herb Alpert
Herb Alpert
b.1935
trumpet
, Art Farmer
Art Farmer
Art Farmer
1928 - 1999
flugelhorn
, and Chuck Mangione
Chuck Mangione
Chuck Mangione
b.1940
flugelhorn
. His rich and sure trumpet is the first sound you hear on the opening "I Remember Clifford," Benny Golson
Benny Golson
Benny Golson
b.1929
sax, tenor
's famous tribute to Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
1930 - 1956
trumpet
, one of Hood's primary influences (and Golson's too). Hood later honors another master with Lee Morgan
Lee Morgan
Lee Morgan
1938 - 1972
trumpet
's "Ceora," where his trumpet timbres combine with Rich Chiaraluce's tenor sax to sharpen its angles and blues into the sound of bebop. Both tributes present jazz played soulfully without being soul- jazz.

A member of the Tommy Dorsey

Tommy Dorsey
Tommy Dorsey
1905 - 1956
trombone
and Artie Shaw
Artie Shaw
Artie Shaw
1910 - 2004
clarinet
tribute bands, Rich Chiaraluce picks up clarinet to help Hood rock "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" with Dixieland style and swing, and also chirps in alto on the title track.

Hanson proves deserving of Hood's comparison to Riddle and trustworthy with Hood's arrangements: after pairing Hood's singing trumpet with strings for the first verse, Hanson opens the framework of "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" to accommodate Hood's sweet improvisation, and he sharply contrasts bold trumpet statements with softer orchestral music in "Habanera for Kyrie."

Hood's supple yet strong tone rediscovers such pop confections as "Pure Imagination" (from Willie Wonka & The Chocolate Factory) and "If I Loved You" (from Carousel), which both sound and feel simply beautiful—especially his closing improvisation on "Loved You," played in that strong yet sad Miles Davis

Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
trumpet ballad tone.

Track Listing: I Remember Clifford; Pure Imagination; It's Only Everything; Here's to Life; Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?; Just a Little Taste; In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning; Ceora; Pastoral Blue; Habanera for Kyrie; If I Loved You; Nostalgic Blues.

Personnel: Al Hood: trumpet, flugelhorn; Dave Hanson: piano, synthesizer, arranger, conductor; Ken Walker: bass; Todd Reid: drums; Rich Chiarluce: clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Steve Hood: vocal; Pam Endsley: flute; Lisa Martin: oboe; Susan McCullough: horn; Larisa Fesmire: violin; John Hilton: violin; Karen Kinzie: violin; Rachel Segal: violin; David Waldman: violin; Bradley Watson: violin; Catherine Beeson: viola; Basil Vendryes: viola; Kitty Knight: cello; Rich Slavich: cello; John Arnsen: bass; Claude Sin: concertmaster.

Record Label: Kakeda Music

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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