Bob Lark Alumni Band / Bob Curnow / JazzMN Big Band
Alto saxophonist Silke Eberhard is showcased on Duke Ellington's ballad "All Too Soon," Israeli vocalist Efrat Alony on the next five: "And Then I Think of You," "Song Shir," "Silent Seekers," "You Go to My Head," "My One and Only Love." To say that Eberhard goes overboard on "All Too Soon" would be a matter of opinion; what is undeniable is that he puts his instrument, as well as everyone else's discernment, to the test. As for Alony, her mellow voice blends well with Partyka's singular charts; the quandary lies elsewhere, namely with the lyrics (to the three originals, all written by Alony), which won't cause Andrew Lloyd Weber or Stephen Sondheim to lose any sleep. True, "Song Shir" is sung in Hebrew, but "Think of You" and "Seekers" (neither of which seems to be about love lost but love desired) are more enigmatic than edifying.
The standards follow the same erratic path, as Alony bends notes with abandon to engender emotion while the ensemble plods gamely along behind her. On the plus side, the album's most expressive solos are delivered on the vocal tracks: by trumpeter Martin Auer ("Think of You"), tenor Mark Wyand ("Song Shir"), Harrer and Leicht ("Seekers") and flugel Jorg Engels ("You Go to My Head"). The ensemble closes with another blues, "Man Trouble," whose nearly three-minute long freestyle introduction by clarinetist Eberhard and trombonist Petra Krumphuber sets the tone for a sequence of orchestral discord and suitably Mingus-like coda.
Needless to say, Partyka's musical concepts aren't for everyone. Those who appreciate free-form jazz are more likely to be drawn to and savor his intricate and sometimes strident themes. For others who may wish to revisit the heartache of love lost, there's always Sinatra.
Tracks and Personnel
Tracks: Reunion; Mad Dan's; Until You; Roatan; First Steps; Cathy's Song; Abruzzi; Suggestions; Ravenswood; Winter's Touch; Tango Caliente.
Personnel: Bob Lark: composer, arranger, director, trumpet, flugelhorn soloist; Brent Turney: trumpet, flugelhorn; Dan Jonas: trumpet, flugelhorn; Marques Carroll: trumpet, flugelhorn; Vance Thompson: trumpet, flugelhorn; Kirk Garrison: trumpet, flugelhorn (1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11); Dan Nicholson: alto, soprano sax; Jon Irabagon: alto sax, flute (1-5, 7-10); Scott Burns: tenor sax (2, 3, 5-11); Chris Madsen: alto, tenor sax 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9-11); Glenn Kostur: tenor sax (1, 3-6, 8, 9); Ted Hogarth: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Tim Coffman: trombone; Craig Sunken: trombone; Dominic Marino: trombone; Thomas Matta: bass trombone; Ryan Cohan: piano (2, 3, 5, 8, 10); Mike Stryker: piano (1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11); Justin Thomas: vibraphone (7); Mike Pinto: guitar; Joe Policastro: bass; Bob Rummage: drums (1, 4, 6, 7, 9. 11); Dana Hall: drums (2, 3, 5, 8, 10).
The Music of Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays
Tracks: A Place in the World; Follow Me; Wherever You Go; James; The Gathering Sky; You; And Then I Knew; Afternoon; As It Is; Chet's Call; The Heat of the Day.
Personnel: Bob Curnow: leader, arranger; Terry Lack: trumpet; Jim Phillips: trumpet; Andy Plamondon: trumpet; Vern Sielert: trumpet; Larry Jess: trumpet; Tim Larkin: trumpet (10, 11); Liz Bradstreet: trumpet (1); Todd Delgliudice: alto, soprano sax; Dick Hubbard: alto sax (1); Vanessa Sielert: alto sax; Dave Fague: tenor sax (1); Cameron LaPlante: tenor sax (1, 11); Jeremy Hamilton: tenor sax (10, 11); Gary Edighoffer: tenor sax; Jessika Leek: tenor sax; Matt Thistle: baritone sax; Rob Tapper: trombone; Tim Lienhard: trombone (1); Andrew Fudge: trombone (10, 11); Al Gemberling: trombone; Jenny Kellogg: trombone; Devin Otto: trombone; Holly Amend: trombone; Bill Foster: bass trombone; Don Goodwin: piano; Kyle Smith: guitar; Brian McCann: bass; Dan Cox: drums (1); Michael Waldrop: drums (2, 5, 7, 10, 11); Dru Heller: drums (3, 4, 6, 8, 9).
Enriching Life with Jazz
Tracks: I Love Being Here with You; Lester Leaps In; Bluesiando; Cherokee; Skylark; Love for Sale; West Side Story medley; La Camorra; Splatch; Blues in the Closet.
Personnel: Doug Snapp: artistic director; Bob Hallgrimson: trumpet; Steve Strand: trumpet; Jeff Gottwig: trumpet; Dave Jensen: trumpet; Adam Rossmiller: trumpet; Steve Wagner: trumpet; Jack Gillespie: trumpet; Bernie Edstrom: trumpet; Brian Grivna: alto sax; Pete Whitman: alto, tenor sax; Dave Karr: tenor sax; Dale Mendenhall: tenor sax; Kathy Jensen: baritone sax; David Milne: alto sax; Clay Pufahl: alto, tenor sax; Mark Henderson: tenor sax; Greg Keel: baritone sax; John Zimmerman: baritone sax; Michael Nelson: trombone; Dave Graf: trombone; Ethan Freier: trombone; Wade Clark: trombone; Dean Sorenson: trombone; John Tranter: trombone; Scott Agster: trombone; Mike Paulsen: trombone; Mary Louise Knutson: piano; David Singley: guitar; Terry Burns: bass; Ron Evanuik: bass; Jay Young: bass; David Mendenhall: bass; Joe Pulice: drums; Ray Rivera: percussion; Dave Hagedorn: percussion; Connie Evingson: vocal (1); Debbie Duncan: vocal (6)..
Introducing the Eyal Vilner Big Band