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The Rob Parton Big Band: Christmas Time Is Here

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The only plausible impetus for releasing an album of Christmas themes so close to the holiday itself is the inclusion of music that transcends the season and may be auditioned and appreciated throughout the year. Trombonist Chris McDonald accomplished that with his splendid album In the Mood for Christmas, and trumpeter Rob Parton has mirrored that success with the kaleidoscopic Christmas Time Is Here, a compilation he says was some twenty years in the making. The earliest tracks were recorded in 1997, the most recent this year (2013), hence the inclusive roster of musicians (fifty-six in all including guest trumpeter ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Parton: Rob Parton Quartet

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It's always a pleasure to welcome a new CD by the remarkably talented Chicago-based trumpeter Rob Parton, even one that is untitled and places Parton in a (mostly) quartet framework. The downside is that one can't hear Parton play lead trumpet, another area in which he excels, as any perusal of his superb (albeit recently demised) JazzTech Big Band would readily affirm.

Parton always recruited only the best available sidemen for his large ensemble, and the same is true here with the JazzTech's superlative drummer, Bob Rummage, anchoring a top-drawer rhythm section comprised of bassist Eric Hochberg and pianists Laurence ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Parton: Rob Parton Quartet

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Chicago trumpeter Rob Parton has been leading his phenomenal JAZZTECH Big Band for the better part of two decades now, but it was four years of quartet gigs at the Catch 35 Restaurant and Club in Chicago that inspired Rob Parton Quartet. Parton began performing at the club in 2005 with his favorite longtime drummer Bob Rummage and pianist Laurence Hobgood, who has since relocated to New York and been replaced by Steve Million. The quartet now features Million, Rummage and bassist Eric Hochberg, who Parton credits for being his mentor since the club gig started.

In this ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Parton's JazzTech Big Band: Just One of Those Things

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There aren't many big bands that are as consistently impressive in a studio as they are in person. Here's one that is--trumpeter Rob Parton's strapping, Chicago-based JazzTech Big Band. Parton's secret? It's not hard to comprehend. Enlist the best players one can find, give them bright and elaborate charts to sink their chops into, then stand aside and let 'em roar.

Except Parton does much more than stand aside. He also quarterbacks the ensemble's superlative trumpet section and produces splendid solos on both trumpet and flugelhorn ("You've Changed, Wayne Shorter's “Infant Eyes ). It never hurts the cause to have ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Parton's JAZZTECH Big Band: Just One of Those Things

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Just One of Those Things is, after only one captivating listen, anything but just another “one of those big bands. The seventh album by trumpeter Rob Parton's Chicago-based orchestra and, perhaps, the best one yet, this is truly a gem of an album that sparkles with every track. Quite a statement to swallow if one is familiar with the discography of the JAZZTECH Big Band and, in particular, with their last blue ribbon release, Two Different Days (Seabreeze, 2004), which, frankly, it's hard to believe could be eclipsed.

Yet Parton himself believes that this is the band's best ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Parton's JazzTech Big Band: Two Different Days

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Two Different Days --and one terrific band. This is the sixth album recorded by trumpeter Rob Parton's cyclonic ensemble from the Windy City, and while every one of them has been spectacular in its own way, this one may well earn the blue ribbon as best in show.

Simply put, this is a band that has everything--scrupulous section work, stalwart soloists and a superb rhythm section spearheaded by Chicago's premier big band drummer, Bob Rummage. But even though the competition is fierce, what sets Days apart from Parton's earlier albums, in this reviewer's opinion, is his splendid choice of material, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Parton's Jazztech Big Band: Two Different Days

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As Associate Professor of Trumpet and Chairman of Jazz Studies for the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University, Rob Parton leads a swingin' big band in the tradition of Count Basie and like-minded organizations that have shown a hearty appreciation for straight-ahead pleasure.

His searing flugelhorn is featured on several swingers, and his trumpet solo on “Never Will I Marry" indicates that Parton feels what he teaches. Fluidly and seamlessly, he phrases his way through familiar standards and not-so-familiar originals. Backed by a cast of stellar veterans, the trumpeter leads his cohesive big band through delightfully ...



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