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Bob Mintzer: Amazing Reach

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For about half of his four decade-long career in jazz, Bob Mintzer has been a member of the Yellowjackets, one of the most enduring, distinctive and creative bands in contemporary jazz. But, oddly enough, this association is a relatively small slice of Mintzer's remarkably multifaceted life in music as a saxophonist, bass clarinetist, composer, arranger, educator and leader of his own big bands and small groups. For Mintzer, the phrase “busy as a bee" certainly applies.Born in 1953 in New Rochelle, New York, a town that sits just two miles north of New York City, Mintzer has been ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Mintzer Big Band: For The Moment

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Musicians can consider themselves lucky if they find success in one particular area, but there are a select few that seem to flourish in every music-related environment that they encounter. Bob Mintzer is part of this elite list; his versatility is his greatest virtue but, while he's a world class saxophonist and educator, his legacy will likely be connected to his work as a composer and arranger in the world of big bands. He learned from the best, sitting in the saxophone section of bands led by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Gil Evans, and several other notable figures, and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Erskine / Bob Mintzer / Darek Oles / Alan Pasqua: Standards 2, Movie Music

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Standards hold a particular fascination for drummer Peter Erskine, as initiated through his Grammy-nominated Standards(Fuzzy Music, 2008). Unlike that first album--comprised primarily of old jazz standards--Standards 2, Movie Music focuses on songs that are considered standards from the realm of Hollywood movies. Featuring music from Gone With The Wind (1939), considered by many to be one of the best movies ever made, to the main theme from Rosemary's Baby (1968), this unusual collection of songs, by necessity, has to leave out choices from a wide enough range of popular movies to fill several volumes--a risk Erskine readily acknowledges in his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Erskine / Bob Mintzer / Derek Oles / Alan Pasqua: Standards 2, Movie Music

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While the songs featured on Standards 2, Movie Music were given an initial audience through the medium of film, some of them have led a fruitful existence beyond the borders of the silver screen. Some melodies--like Tara's Theme," from 1939's Gone With The Wind--will always be associated with their point of origin, but much of Cole Porter's catalog, including the two inclusions on this album ("Night And Day" and “I Concentrate On You"), is more familiar to current audiences than the films that spawned these standards. This quartet treats both types of material with equal respect as it plies its ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Erskine / Bob Mintzer / Darek Oles / Alan Pasqua: Standards 2, Movie Music

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Composers of movie soundtracks have crafted some of the most enduring tunes for jazz treatment. Names like Leonard Bernstein, Cole Porter, Krzysztof Komeda, and Ennio Maricone show up in the credits of innumerable albums, with tunes that shape moods and atmospheres, and supply jazz artists with engaging melodies galore.Drummer Peter Erskine has collected a crack quartet which has, in turn, collected ten tunes from various movie soundtracks for a near perfect jazz outing, one with that swings with the feeling of an Ellington small group outing.From tenor saxophonist Bob Mintzer's opening notes, it's apparent that this ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Erskine / Bob Mintzer / Darek Oles / Alan Pasqua: Standards 2, Movie Music

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Sometimes, the most powerful statements are those delivered directly: gentle, yet forceful in their complete commitment, and without the trappings of excess.With the sudden, unexpected passing in 2008 of Dave Carpenter--the talented and busy West Coast bassist who had played with everyone from Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson and Woody Herman to Scott Henderson, Allan Holdsworth and Lee Ritenour--drummer Peter Erskine and pianist Alan Pasqua had to find a new bassist for their longstanding trio, last heard on Standards (Fuzzy Music, 2008).Fortunately, both had intersected before with Darek Oles. Oles, who emigrated from Poland to the United ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Mintzer: Canyon Cove

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Between a bevy of sideman dates, longstanding gigs with Yellowjackets and his own big band, and periodic small ensemble recordings like the unassuming and heartfelt In the Moment (Art of Life, 2007), Bob Mintzer has remained one of the busiest woodwind multi-instrumentalists in jazz for nearly four decades, since first cutting his teeth as youngster with drum legend/mentor Buddy Rich. Largely focusing on the rich bebop tradition and its various offshoots, Mintzer has always managed to remain relevant by placing himself into a multiplicity of contexts. Mintzer visits the organ trio tradition on Canyon Cove, with a set of largely ...



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