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Curtis Fuller: I Will Tell Her

Edward Blanco By

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Legendary trombonist Curtis Fuller and saxophonist Keith Oxman have performed a regular gig at the Dazzle nightclub in Denver leading to this first recording for Fuller on the Capri label. I Will Tell Her is a special album in several ways, dedicated to Fuller's late wife Cathy, the album is also the 100th of the Capri label and their first double CD. The two disc set comprises a studio recording session and a live date at the Denver nightclub. Fuller and saxophonist Oxman met for the first time in 2005 for their gig at Dazzle's and formed an immediate friendship despite their drastically different backgrounds and 25 year age difference.

Oxman's band became the vehicle for this recording after Fuller's guest appearance with the group in Denver. The band includes trumpeter Alan Hood, pianist Chip Stephens, bassist Ken Walker and drummer Todd Reid—all of whom are featured on this album both on the studio recording and on the live Dazzle set. While the majority of the pieces are Fuller originals, also included are the Sonny Rollins tune "Tenor Madness," Kenny Dorham's "Minor's Holiday" and "I Want To Talk About You" from the Billy Eckstine songbook. The center piece of the album is the title track, a slow and soft ballad punctuated by several solos from Fuller. The tribute piece is performed on both sessions with the live recording being an extended version running almost 13 minutes in length.

Fuller's boisterous "The Court," also enjoys a double take with another extended rendition recorded on the live disc where both Fuller and Oxman tee off on this number delivering lively performances. Dorham's "Minor's Holiday" is the only other piece recorded on both sessions that stays within the same time frame sounding just as peppery on the studio side as they sound on the live date. Pianist Stephens does the honors leading the music until Oxman and Hood decide to get involved. Fuller is the next to last to solo here but does so brilliantly followed by a rumbling from Reid's drums. The live set, though shorter in the number of pieces performed, is actually longer in total time and of course contains the sounds of a live audience which always adds to the excitement of the music.

I Will Tell Her—the best music the trombonist has recorded in years—is more than a fitting message of love to Curtis Fuller's late wife Cathy; it succeeds in sending a message that this artist has a lot more music to offer.


Track Listing: CD1: Time Off; Sagittarius; Minor's Holiday; I Will Tell Her; Maze; The Court; Alamode; The Clan; CD2: Tenor Madness; The Court; I Will Tell Her; Maze; I Want to Talk About You; Minor's Holiday.

Personnel: Curtis Fuller: trombone; Keith Oxman: tenor sax; Al Hood: trumpet; Chip Stephens: piano; Ken Walker: bass; Todd Reid: drums.

Title: I Will Tell Her | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Capri Records


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