Dan McMillion Jazz Orchestra: Give It One (2004)
Soaring high above his powerful big band, trumpeter Dan McMillion thrills his audience with contemporary action and a hard-hitting wallop. His title track, a burner written by Maynard Ferguson with Alan Downey, drives the band exuberantly in a fit of passion. The band puts goose bumps on your arms and sets your feet and hands in rhythmic motion, as McMillion pours it on forcefully.
Ballads and up-tempo romps give the program variety. The leader's powerful trumpet solos reach sky-high and deliver a convincing blow. He shares the solo spotlight with a number of creative artists, including baritone saxophonist Dalton Hagler, tenor saxophonist Mark Gould, trombonist Keith Oshiro, pianist Chris Rottmayer, and alto saxophonist Tom Dietz. Proud big band arrangements by Frank Mantooth, Don Sebesky, Bill Holman and others give the program a majestic quality.
McMillion's full trumpet tone gives ballads such as Cole Porter's "So in Love" and John Coltrane's "Naima" a convincing aura. His upper register fireworks explode brilliantly on burners such as "Birdland" and "Watermelon Man." Maynard Ferguson's bluesy ballad, "Footpath Café," gives him the opportunity to open up and show off his best quality: a veteran's grasp of the blues and a heartfelt manner of interpreting the music. If you liked Maynard Ferguson in his prime, you'll fall in love with Dan McMillion's Give it One.
Track Listing: Just Friends; Give It One; Bridge Over Troubled Water; Coconut Champaign; Fan It Janet; So in Love; Birdland; Footpath Caf
Personnel: Dan McMillion, Chad Shoopman, Brian Scanlon, Jim Derrick, Mike Iapichino, Alan Stegeman- trumpet, flugelhorn; Keith Oshiro, Matt Buckmaster, Chris Clifton- trombone, Jason Smith- trombone; Jim Hall- bass trombone; Tom Dietz- alto saxophone, flute; Wayne Beardwood- alto saxophone; Mark Gould, Tim Stamps- tenor saxophone; Dalton Hagler- baritone saxophone; Chris Rottmayer- piano, keyboards; Joe Porter- double bass, electric bass; Glen Bush- drums, Latin percussion.