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Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around The Horn

Nicholas F. Mondello By

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In assessing baseball talent, the scouts' description "five-tool talent" describes a hitter who can do it all—run, field, hit for average, hit with power and throw. When a musician such as Tony Kadleck steps into the recording batter's box as leader and with work presented such as Around the Horn, the description not only fits like a glove, but, the musical umpires surely will be "finger-twirling" and calling it a Grand Slam.

Kadleck, long a key fixture in the New York studio and Broadway pit scene (contrary to pit rumor, the diminutive statuette was not named after him, but he does play the Tony® Awards yearly) takes the leader, lead trumpet and arranging chores in this terrific assortment of both brilliantly arranged and performed popular classics Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry About a Thing" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On"). His aggregation of some of the New York Metro Area's finest (including guest soloist Randy Brecker blistering on Michael Brecker's "African Skies") is a swinging, high-energy unit that embraces Kadleck's challenging charts and ultimately delivers.

While Kadleck is well-known as a fine lead and all-around trumpeter, what shines and surprises here—in addition to his take-command lead chops—is his superb arranging. Each of the selections has Kadleck's pen challenging the sections, ensembles and framing soloists superbly. The rhythmic and dynamic intensities throughout are outstanding. One can easily identify Kadleck's arranging influences—Sammy Nestico a la Count Basie on Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's "Wabash," Thad Jones, Gerald Wilson, Oliver Nelson and even a shading of Gil Evans. But, Kadleck's pen stands on its own as his intelligent rhythmic and textural approaches and balance of the ensembles' four sections, as well as the of framing his superb soloists, is indeed unique. The band's pure emotional intensity on Leonard Bernstein's "One Hand, One Heart" from "West Side Story" is the highlight among many on this recording. The surprisingly dark, but not eccentric, rendition of "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" renders the Tommy Dorsey-related tune heard with new ears.

The back cover of this outstanding recording depicts baseball's home plate with a player's "home run" footprint stamped on it. Don't be surprised if that's not Kadleck's size 9 as Around the Horn knocks it out of the park.

Track Listing: Green Tea; Creepin;; African Skies; What's Going On; Wabash; How Do You Keep The Music Playing?; Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing; One Hand, One Heart; Look To The Sky; I'm Getting Sentimental Over You.

Personnel: Aaron Heick: saxophone; Andy Snitzer: saxophone; David Mann: saxophone; Charles Pillow: saxophone; Jason Rigby: saxophone; Janelle Reichman: saxophone; Dave Riekenberg: saxophone; Kenny Berger: saxophone; Tony Kadleck: trumpet; Jon Owens: trumpet; James De La Garza: trumpet; John Bailey: trumpet; Darryl Shaw: trumpet; Alex Norris: trumpet; Dylan Schwab: trumpet; Michael Davis: trombone; Keith O'Quinn: trombone; John Wheeler: trombone; Randy Andos: trombone; Henry Hey: piano; Mike Holober: piano; Pete McCann: guitar; David Finck: bass; Dave Ratajczak: drums; Mike Berkowitz: drums; Dan Rieser: percussion; Meyer Horn: percussion; Randy Brecker: trumpet (3).

Title: Around The Horn | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced

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