The Bill Holman charts unearthed here by the Carl Saunders Exploration weren't so much lost as overlooked--hidden away for some two decades in a closet at the home of geologist/saxophonist Ted Richardson in Houston, Texas. On the other hand, as none of them had ever been recorded, they may accurately be described as found.
The charts were written for Richardson's septet, which was disbanded in the mid-1980s before plans to record them could be carried out. Richardson took them home, ...read more
Somewhere in the dimly remembered past, before the scufflers were hip and everyone knew what was happenin', there were hepcats who devised a language all their own, one in which it wasn't difficult to imagine one saying to another, Hey, man, can you dig being dug?
That shopworn phrase, which serves as the title of trumpeter Carl Saunders' newest album, recorded live at Charlie O's in Van Nuys, California, is the only aspect of the enterprise that is in any ...read more
Yes, it's The Pink Panther," Mr. Lucky" and Two for the Road," but if anyone can take the late film/television composer Henry Mancini's quasi-jazz and make it swing like a willow in a windstorm, it's two old (well, oldish ) masters like alto saxophonist Phil Woods and trumpeter Carl Saunders. And swing they do, as does the unsung but abundantly talented Denver-based rhythm section of pianist Jeff Jenkins, bassist Ken Walker and drummer Paul Romaine.
It's readily apparent that the ...read more
Phil Urso won’t remember this, but many years ago—nearly half a century, in fact—I heard him playing in a small club in Washington, DC, and was so impressed that I approached him after the gig and said he sounded to me like Zoot Sims. I made his day then, and now I’d like to give it another try. Urso and trumpeter Carl Saunders have joined forces to sculpt this warmhearted tribute to the incomparable but self-impaled Chet Baker, and although ...read more
The East and West Coast varieties of jazz in the '50s and '60s were as unique and identifiable as the same hip-hop genres they predated. The great purveyors of the West Coast Sound'Art Pepper, Bill Perkins, Hampton Hawes, Shorty Rogers, Bud Shank, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, and Phil Urso'were all able shake over ice the hot bebop of the East Coast, producing a dry and complex brand of modern jazz. The latter two names of this group are forever linked ...read more
Without a doubt this is the best big band to come along in many a year. The speed burners will knock your socks off, and the ballads will send romance wafting around like the sweet smell of Joy Perfume.
The sections feature the best musicians in the business; the leader, trumpet virtuoso Carl Saunders, is in a class by himself. Some beautiful Herb Phillips arrangements, aided by exquisite playing from the soloists, make this recording a true ...read more
I'd best take care when reviewing this album by trumpet maestro Carl Saunders, as I could run short of laudatory adjectives before the appraisal has been completed. For those who are unfamiliar with his c.v., Saunders has been enriching big-band trumpet sections for more than four decades, having cut his teeth with the renowned Stan Kenton Orchestra while still a teen-ager in 1960. The pedigree is immaculate too; Carl's mother, Gail Sherwood, once sang with Kenton, and his uncle, Bobby ...read more
There is one unequivocal reason to acquire this album, and it can be summarized in two words: Carl Saunders. If you’ve not yet heard this unsung master of the trumpet / flugelhorn, it’s time you did. And if you’ve already been introduced I needn’t say more, as no doubt the decision has already been made to lay your hands on a copy of his second album, Eclecticism. While I can’t honestly say that I was inflamed by the decision to ...read more