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Ryan Haines Big Band: People & Places (2007)

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Ryan Haines Big Band: People & Places How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

When one considers the touchstones in his or her life, few are more enduring or important than People & Places. Appreciating this, trombonist Ryan Haines has devoted an entire album to some of the people and places that have meant the most to him and helped shape his identity as a musician and a human being.

Starting with family, Haines pays tribute to his mother's home in San Diego with the Latin-grooved "Tierrasanta, to his wife with the sensuous ballad "Yvonne, to his daughter with the buoyant "Sabrina's Theme, and to other members of the family with "Thicker Than Water, on which the size of the band is nearly doubled. Kurt Larson, a friend from college days, is remembered via the eccentric "Riding the Bavarian Sidebar, while "Blaine Street alludes to Haines' first apartment in California and "Wednesday's Friend to his nine years in Colorado and regular Wednesday evening gigs with the Springs Contemporary Jazz Band.

Haines' other themes are less specific. The funky "Underground, he writes, was inspired by "people who exist on the fringes of our culture, out of the mainstream—those who some might call modern-day Gypsies. Haines ties up any loose ends with "People and Places, a happy remembrance of all the people he has met and places he has seen.

As for actually playing the music, there's no unease in that area, as Haines' band is comprised for the most part of members of the U.S. Air Force's leading jazz ensemble, the Airmen of Note (the exceptions are pianist Tony Nalker, guitarist Jim Roberts and drummer Steve Fidyk, all from the U.S. Army Blues). It helps that Haines is a marvelous player in his own right, soloing eloquently on all save three numbers. He's ably escorted by Nalker, Roberts, Fidyk, trumpeters Rich Sigler and Tim Leahey, alto Lucas Munce, tenor Tedd Baker and baritone Doug Morgan, each of whom is a grandly talented improviser.

But good as the ensemble is, it is Haines' remarkable expertise as a composer and arranger that carries the day. These are People & Places you'll want to meet and visit again and again.

Track Listing: Tierrasanta; Sabrinas Theme; Underground; Wednesdays Friend; Riding the Bavarian Sidecar; Yvonne; Blaine Street; Thicker Than Water; People and Places.

Personnel: Ryan Haines: composer, arranger, leader, trombone, bass trombone; Brian MacDonald: trumpet, flugelhorn; Kevin Burns: trumpet, flugelhorn; Rich Sigler: trumpet, flugelhorn; Tim Leahey: trumpet, flugelhorn; Lucas Munce: alto, soprano sax, flute, clarinet; Andy Axelrad: alto sax, flute, clarinet; Tedd Baker: tenor sax, flute, clarinet; Dave Stump: tenor sax, flute, clarinet; Doug Morgan: baritone sax, flute, bass clarinet; Ben Patterson: trombone; Jeff Martin: trombone; Todd Hanson: bass trombone; Jess Lightner: tuba (5); Tony Nalker: piano; Jim Roberts: guitar; Paul Henry: bass; Steve Fidyk: drums; Josh Lies: trumpet (8); Pat McDermott: trumpet (8); Mike Ramos: trumpet (8); Tony Kirkland: trumpet (8); Andrew Cleaver: alto sax (8); Bill Marr: alto sax (8); Mike Vance: tenor sax (8); Darrin Thiriot: tenor sax (8); Mary Beth George: baritone sax (8); Aaron Moats: trombone (8); Susan Chumley: trombone (8); Dave Sisk: trombone (8); Jay Heltzer: bass trombone (8).

Record Label: Sea Breeze Jazz

Style: Big Band


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