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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Lark and his Alumni Big Band: Reunion

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Veteran jazz trumpeter and flugelhorn master Dr. Bob Lark has directed many big bands in more than 20 years as Director of Jazz Studies at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. With Reunion, Lark reunites 22 musicians from those bands as his Alumni Big Band, debuting the group on a monster collection of powerful orchestrations. While the teacher provides the eleven original pieces, the class assignment was to pen the arrangements, as six of the alumni do so well here.Saxophonists Jon Irabagon and Ted Hogarth, and drummers Dana Hall (Terrell Stafford) and Bob Rummage (Rob Parton's Jazztech Big Band ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Lark and Friends: Cathy's Song

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Trumpeter Bob Lark's “friends," on his fourth album for Jazzed Media Records, include alto saxophonist Phil Woods (two tracks), pianist Jim McNeely and bassist Rufus Reid (four apiece). There's a six-member string section on three numbers, on which Lark's flugelhorn is the only horn, while the selections with McNeely and Reid are scored for trio with Lark on flugel for three, and muted trumpet on “Green Dolphin Street," a conspicuous salute to Miles Davis on which Lark briefly bends the melody, something that really isn't necessary when the melody is among the loveliest ever written. But that's a scant reproach ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Bob Lark / Phil Woods Quintet: Live at the Jazz Showcase

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The order of names on this superb in-concert CD could have gone either way. On the one hand, four-fifths of the quintet is actually the Phil Woods Quartet; on the other, trumpeter Bob Lark, who shares the front line for a second time with alto saxophonist Woods (their 2006 collaboration for Jazzed Media was In Her Eyes), wrote the first three of the album's seven selections, which clearly gives him a leg up. Maybe in the end they flipped a coin, or played rock-paper-scissors, and when neither of those ventures worked as planned, decided to align themselves in alphabetical order. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Bob Lark/Phil Woods Quintet: Live at the Jazz Showcase

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Trumpeter and educator Dr. Bob Lark, who directs the DePaul University Jazz ensemble, has had a long musical association with the great alto saxophone master Phil Woods. This resulted in several performances and recordings with both the University Ensemble and their own working quintet. In May of 2006, Woods came to Chicago to celebrate the release of the first Bob Lark/Phil Woods Quintet album In Her Eyes (Jazzed Media 2006). Woods also completed a weekend gig at Chicago's world famous Jazz Showcase where along with Lark (who here performs on the flugelhorn), Jim McNeely (long-time pianist for Woods), bassist Steve ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Lark and Friends: Suggestions

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If you've not heard of trumpeter Bob Lark, that's probably because he spends much of his time supervising the admirable Jazz Studies program at Chicago's DePaul University. In his spare time, Lark often sits in with some of the Windy City's leading ensembles and has recorded three albums under his own name, including this consistently impressive studio session, his second for the Jazzed Media label.

Unlike In Her Eyes, his quintet date from a 2006, Lark isn't backed on Suggestions by the Phil Woods Quartet, but not to worry--the sidemen he has chosen are exemplary, starting with world-renowned pianist Jim ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Lark / Phil Woods Quintet: In Her Eyes

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In Her Eyes is the second trumpet-led album released by Jazzed Media on which the name Carl Saunders doesn't appear above the marquee. Graham Carter, the CEO at JM, is careful to choose trumpeters who won't suffer by comparison. The first was Marvin Stamm; this time it's Bob Lark, whose melodic trumpet and flugelhorn sing as beautifully as his name.

Lark, best known to this writer as the longtime director of the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble in Chicago, has chosen his partners carefully, too. He's backed by no less than the Phil Woods Quartet, with Woods on alto sax, Jim ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Bob Lark / Phil Woods Quintet: In Her Eyes

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Dr. Bob Lark has just issued a new prescription for incurable jazz fanatics: full immersion in the music of In Her Eyes. The trumpeter and educator holds a Doctor of Musical Arts and serves as the chair of Jazz Studies at De Paul University in Chicago, where he teaches jazz trumpet and directs the university's Jazz Ensemble. Lark has performed with Clark Terry, Louie Bellson, Bobby Shew, Bob Brookmeyer and Tom Harrell, among others. On this recording he shares the limelight with an alto icon, Phil Woods--and if you're not faniliar with Woods, you don't know jazz. The quintet also ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Lark: Until You

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Until You is the second album from Chicago trumpeter/flugelhornist Bob Lark, who also serves as the Jazz Chair at Chicago's DePaul University, where he directs the school's Jazz Ensemble and teaches trumpet and courses in jazz pedagogy and jazz style. Lark poses on the inside cover in a very Chet Baker-ish photo with his flugelhorn.

Lark displays a very pure and undiluted tone and performs here on flugelhorn on all but the final two selections. There is a nice mix of two originals, two standards and three jazz standards. Lark opens the album with original compostitions: the title ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Lark: First Steps

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Most Jazz educators are enterprising players in their own right, and many have an understandable urge to plunge into the far–flung ocean of performance and splash around from time to time. Trumpeter Bob Lark, whose day gig is coordinator of Jazz Studies at Chicago’s DePaul University (and whose resumé includes a doctorate in Jazz performance from the University of North Texas), gets his feet wet with First Steps, on which his capable shipmates include the highly regarded tenor saxophonist Bob Mintzer, the less well–known but no less accomplished trombonist/arranger Paul McKee, and an able–bodied Chicago–area rhythm section whose bassist, Reed, ...



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