504

The Bob Mintzer Big Band: Homage to Count Basie

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Bob Mintzer Big Band: Homage to Count Basie Anyone who can take my least favorite Basie recording, “April in Paris,” and make it sound as captivating as Bob Mintzer does on Homage to Count Basie (no “one more time!” or “one more once!”) has earned an enthusiastic thumbs–up without taking another step. But the talented tenor overlord doesn’t stop there; he “Mintzerizes” four other tunes associated with the Basie band and blends in three of his own compositions to produce a banquet fit for (the ears of) a King — or a Count. Mintzer does for Basie what Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra have done for Ellington, except (here’s an heretical thought) Mintzer’s band does it better. The reason lies in those “Mintzerized” charts, which go well beyond mere transcription to reinvigorate such overworked warhorses as “April in Paris,” “One O’Clock Jump,” “Cute,” “Shiny Stockings” and “Li’l Darlin’.” Mintzer’s three compositions are excellent as well, and one can almost hear Sammy Nestico muttering, “Damn! I wish I’d written that!” as he (or she) listens to the deeply–grooved opener, “Havin’ Some Fun” (which follows Nestico’s time–tested recipe so closely that Sammy probably could have written it). Mintzer salutes a former President with “Lester Jumps Out” and, as he writes in the liner notes, superimposes “the Basie sensibility on an R&B groove, what might have happened if Sly Stone and Count Basie teamed up,” on “Home Basie.” Like everything else on the album, it works. Speaking, as we were a few sentences ago, of havin’ some fun, Mintzer and the other soloists do precisely that, letting it all hang out on every number. The leader’s expressive tenor is heard with baritone Roger Rosenberg on “Fun,” with pianist Phil Markowitz, tenor Scott Robinson, trumpeter Scott Wendholt and bassist Dennis Irwin on “Lester,” and by itself on “Home Basie” (on which drummer Brian Brake replaces John Riley). Markowitz sits in for Basie on “April in Paris,” shares solo honors with Robinson, Rosenberg, trumpeter Byron Stripling, trombonist Larry Farrell and alto Pete Yellin on "One O'Clock Jump" and with Stripling and trombonist Keith O'Quinn on "Shiny Stockings." Wendholt, Robinson and trombonist Michael Davis are the soloists on Neal Hefti's "Cute," Farrell and trumpeter Michael Philip Mossman on another Hefti composition, the even-tempered "Li'l Darlin'." Mintzer has always employed world-class musicians, and Homage is no exception. These gentlemen are flat-out awesome, there are no audible shortcomings, and if they don't swing quite as wildly as Basie, that's only because no one ever has.

Contact:Digital Music Products, P.O. Box 15835, Park Square Station, Stamford, CT 06901; www.dmprecords.com


Track Listing: Havin

Personnel: Bob Mintzer, leader, tenor sax, clarinet, flute; Lawrence Feldman, Pete Yellin, alto sax, clarinet, flute; Scott Robinson, tenor sax, clarinet, flute; Roger Rosenberg, baritone sax; Bob Millikan, Byron Stripling, Scott Wendholt, Michael Philip Mossman, trumpet, flugelhorn; Michael Davis, Keith O

Title: Homage to Count Basie | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: DMP Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roll On CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Pandora's Bag CD/LP/Track Review Pandora's Bag
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 25, 2017
Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Rome" CD/LP/Track Review Rome
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 18, 2017
Read "Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow" CD/LP/Track Review Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Billionaire Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Billionaire Blues
by Mark Werlin
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "All Things" CD/LP/Track Review All Things
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31" CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 4, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!