This is a first album for trumpeter Michael Hackett, who brings big band experience from such organizations as the Toshiko Akioshi Jazz Orchestra, the Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and, currently, the Buselli/Wallrab Jazz Orchestra in Indianapolis. Hackett does indeed have a beautiful tone suggesting the clarion and lyrical tone of prime-time Freddie Hubbard. He has assembled a three-horn front line for his sextet, which includes veteran trombonist Vincent Gardner and former McCoy Tyner drummer Aaron Scott, plus Todd Bashore on alto and soprano sax. In addition, pianist Mike Holober has recorded two well-received albums over the past two years with Phil Palombi on bass.
Five of the eight compositions are originals and with one exception, the two standards (Bronislau Kaper's "Invitation" and the Livingston/Evans ballad "Never Let Me Go") are the best moments on the album. Michael Hackett's title tune, which comes close to a fourteen-minute presentation, is also memorable, beginning with a multi-horn unison reading that sounds like vintage Blue Note from the early 1960's (more specifically from Jackie McLean's Destination Out period) with lots of time for individual solos. It also stands out as a well arranged piece that holds attention for the long ride.
There's nothing wrong with the other tunes but, by the same token, there's nothing memorable either. One can well assume that Hackett's recording future will progress nicely and that we can look forward to his future ventures.
Track Listing: My Good Friend, Blues to John, Heidi's Song, Invitation, Even As We Speak, Circles, Unrequited, Never Let Me Go
Personnel: Michael Hackett--trumpet and flugelhorn; Todd Bashore--alto and soprano saxes; Vincent Gardner--trombone; Mike Holober--piano; Phil Palombi--bass; Aaron Scott--drums
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.