For those who think that Nashville, TN., aka Music City, is solely entrenched within the Country Music and Americana realm, then you'd be dead wrong. With one of the nation's strongest jazz radio stations, WMOT and music venues that promote numerous stylistic avenues, Nashville offers a potpourri of multi-genre related activities. Here, some of the city's top-flight session artists join forces and pay some exuberant homage to the late trumpeter Maynard Ferguson.
The respective performers' resumés span gigs with eminent stars such as Elton John, Garth Brooks, Tony Bennett
, and Ferguson to complement a who's who list. The eleven-piece group turns in rousing covers selected from Ferguson's repertoire, including a disciplined but garrulous spin on Chick Corea's "La Fiesta." They also delve into some jazz-rock motifs, which is a component of the trumpeter's '70s and beyond playlist.
The ensemble's approach consists of power-packed arrangements, accelerated by rocketing horn choruses and a blistering impetus. The trio of trumpeters judiciously nails those high notes, which, of course, is synonymous with Ferguson's mode of execution. And the musicians turn in a snappy, jazz-funk rendition of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish," featuring the hornists' perky accents and piercing crescendos.
Trombonists Barry Green and Roy Agee take the lead atop a high-impact swing vamp on "Superbone Meets The Badman." The musicians then close out the festivities with a ballsy and peppery spin on everyone's favorite cover tune; Joe Zawinul's "Birdland." But it's not about screaming notes and wayward abandonon the contrary, it's an astutely engineered effort that packs a mighty wallop amid the proper variances in pitch and tempo.
Personnel: Steve Patrick: trumpet, flugelhorn; Vinnie Ciesielski: trumpet, flugelhorn; Mike Casteel: trumpet, flugelhorn; Erin Horner: French horn; Barry Green: trombone; Roy Agee: trombone; Joe Murphy: tuba; Ron Gilmore: keyboards; Adam Agati: guitar; Tony Nagy: bass; Jason Waters: drums.