Rob McConnell has trimmed his 17-piece Boss Brass to a streamlined tentet. Besides the advantage of economics the smaller band lends itself to extended soloing and to a flexible ensemble swing. McConnell's intelligently spaced voicings generally avoid the thin sound that sometimes comes out of cut-down bands. (The missing horns are most noticeable when a section backs a soloist.) Personally I prefer the open sound of the smaller band, notably on a subtly fashioned arrangement such as "Speak Low." A relaxed, airy "Theme for Jobim" stands as another example of the smaller band's intimacy.
The saxophonists are the most prominent soloists. Altoist P.J. Perry somehow sounds modern without deriving from Charlie Parker. (There is a hint of Ornette Coleman in some of his jagged, bluesy lines.) He is a refreshing and quick-witted player. Of the tenors Alex Dean leans toward a Joe Henderson muscularity while Mike Murley prefers more ethereal lines in the area of Warne Marsh. There is a three-way saxophone free-for-all on the bop classic "Two Bass Hit," a flagwaver unmercifully driven by drummer Terry Clarke.
With its unison lines "Everything I Love" evokes a jazz combo. Never one to hog solo space in his own bands McConnell is tellingly featured on the piece.
Pianist Dave Restivo is particularly attuned to the fill-in-the-blanks requirements of band piano. He effectively assimilates his own personality into the musicality of this lovely band.
Track Listing: Old Devil Moon; Speak Low; Two Bass Hit; Everything I Love; Con Alma; Maybe September; Theme for Jobim; Ian Leaps Out; Manha de Carnival; Lush Life; These are the Things I Love.
Personnel: Rob McConnell- valve trombone, leader; Guido Basso - flugelhorn; Steve McDade - trumpet; Terry Promane - trombone; P.J. Perry - alto; Mike Murley, Alex Dean - tenor; Dave Restivo - piano; Steve Wallace - bass; Terry Clarke - drums.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.