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CD/LP/Track Review

Jack Cortner: Sound Check (2009)

By Published: September 3, 2009
Jack Cortner: Sound Check Back in 2007, veteran composer/arranger Jack Cortner (a longtime ghost for the late arranger and orchestrator Billy Byers) released Fast Track, his illustrious debut as a bandleader for the Jazzed Media label, with ex-Stan Kenton
Stan Kenton
Stan Kenton
1911 - 1979
piano
and Woody Herman
Woody Herman
Woody Herman
1913 - 1987
band/orchestra
trumpeter Marvin Stamm
Marvin Stamm
Marvin Stamm
b.1939
trumpet
and his erstwhile sidekick, pianist Bill Mays
Bill Mays
Bill Mays
b.1944
piano
, as the principal soloists. With Sound Check, Cortner, Stamm, and Mays return triumphantly with virtually the same ensemble drawn from the cream of New York session and Broadway pit musicians.

Stamm's nimble fluegelhorn and frequently Harmon-muted trumpet ride atop Cortner's facile orchestrations, which include two originals, the Art Blakey

Art Blakey
Art Blakey
1919 - 1990
drums
-flavored "A La Mode" and the James Belushi-sque title track. Throughout the entire album, Mays' unflinching pianism sparkles brilliantly, emerging into the solo spotlight on numerous occasions. In addition to Stamm and Mays, soloists include trombonist Jim Pugh
Jim Pugh
Jim Pugh
b.1950
trombone
(another ex-Herman Herdsman, featured on "Sometime Ago"), alto saxophonist Jon Gordon
Jon Gordon
Jon Gordon

sax, alto
(Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
's "Cantaloupe Island"), tenorist Dave Tofani
Dave Tofani
Dave Tofani

saxophone
(Jerome Kern
Jerome Kern
Jerome Kern
1895 - 1945
arranger
's "Yesterdays" and the Cole Porter
Cole Porter
Cole Porter
1891 - 1964
composer/conductor
standard "It's All Right with Me"), and drummer John Riley.

Sound Check vividly demonstrates that state-of-the-art, swinging big band jazz still has much to offer in the almost second decade of the 21st century.


Track Listing: Strike Up the Band; Speak Low; Sometime Ago; Cantaloupe Island; Sound Check; Yesterdays; Caravan; Cinema Paradiso Love Theme; A la Mode; You and the Night and the Music; It's All Right with Me.

Personnel: Jack Cortner: leader, composer, arranger; Marvin Stamm: solo trumpet, solo fluegelhorn; Bill Mays: piano; Bob Millikan: trumpet, fluegelhorn; Tony Kadleck: trumpet, fluegelhorn; Danny Cahn: trumpet, fluegelhorn; Bud Burridge: trumpet, fluegelhorn; Frank Greene: trumpet, fluegelhorn; Dave Gale: trumpet, fluegelhorn; Jim Pugh: trombone; Keith O'Quinn: trombone; Tony Studd: trombone; Birch Johnson: trombone; Paul Faulise: bass trombone; Lawrence Feldman: alto saxophone; Jerry Dodgion: alto saxophone; Jon Gordon: alto saxophone, Dave Tofani: tenor saxophone; Dennis Anderson: tenor saxophone; Bob Malach: tenor saxophone; Kenny Berger: baritone saxophone, reeds; Jeff Mironov: guitar; Jay Berliner: guitar; Jay Anderson: bass; John Riley: drums.

Record Label: Jazzed Media

Style: Big Band



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