Here’s a consistently colorful, invariably swinging and completely captivating quartet date led by one of the finest trombonists you’ve probably never heard. Rodger Fox, best known as the foreman of New Zealand’s most prominent big band (track eight on this disc, “Xtra Juicy,” is also the name of the ensemble’s newest release), displays the brash awareness and awesome chops that are the hallmark of such celebrated ’bonemeisters as Carl Fontana, Frank Rosolino, Jimmy Knepper, Slide Hampton, Urbie Green, Phil Wilson and Andy Martin, among others. Fox has imported a world–class American rhythm section for the occasion, and adds two trombones (Bruce Paulson and longtime friend and colleague Bill Reichenbach) on “Xtra Juicy,” which he composed along with “Ferry–Nuff.” Aside from the standards (“Loverman,” on which Fox unveils his most Fontana–like persona, and “There Is No Greater Love”) the diverse program includes Mingus’s “Nostalgia in Times Square” and more recent originals by ! pianist Cunliffe (“Napier”), Bruce Johnstone (“Back to Being One”) and flutist Holly Hoffman (the prancing opener, “Truer Blues,” on which Fox’s double– and triple–tongueing passages induce further images of Rosolino/Fontana, as they do also on “No Greater Love”). While the trombonist’s voice is heard most often, Cunliffe causes his flourishing reputation no harm with a number of intensely swinging choruses, bassist Warrington asserts himself on the shuffling “Napier,” and drummer Houghton (who with Warrington keeps flawless time) has some brief but effective moments on “Nostalgia.” Sound quality and over–all balance are quite good, with one noticeable splice near the end of “Loverman.” To paraphrase Cole Porter, trombone enthusiasts should get a kick out of this.
Track listing: Truer Blues; Nostalgia in Times Square; Back to Being One; Napier; Loverman; There Is No Greater Love; Ferry–Nuff; Xtra Juicy (55:17).
Rodger Fox, trombone; Bill Cunliffe, piano; Tom Warrington, bass; Steve Houghton, drums; Bruce Paulson, Bill Reichenbach, trombones (on
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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