Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

366

The Bob Mintzer Big Band: Live at MCG with Kurt Elling

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Bob Mintzer leads a superlative big band with seasoned pros in every chair, but what really gives the engine its get-up-and-go are the maestro's invariably admirable charts, unerring road maps that always ensure a smooth and delightful journey. This first-ever live album by the ensemble, recorded in May '02 at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh, PA, is at its best on the half-dozen instrumentals, even though guest vocalist Kurt Elling does what he can to jump-start the other three.

All but one of the selections, Herbie Hancock's turbulent "Eye of the Hurricane," have appeared on earlier albums, but it's no less pleasurable to revisit them in a concert setting. Elling puts his formidable chops to the test on the lingering (twelve-minutes-plus) "Hurricane" with some acrobatic scatting and vocalese, parrying taut statements by Mintzer, trumpeter Scott Wendholt and drummer John Riley. He's more loose and mellow on Victor Young/Ned Washington's hauntingly beautiful love song "My Foolish Heart" (complete with its charming yet seldom-heard introduction) and in front of a quartet on the less-persuasive ballad "All Is Quiet," which he and Mintzer co-authored.

Mintzer arranged "One O'Clock Jump" (for the album Homage to Count Basie ) and wrote everything else—"El Caborojono," "Gently," "Timeless," "Who's Walkin' Who," "Original People." Each of these themes has its own allure, and all are interlaced with weighty remarks by Mintzer's cadre of talented soloists, especially pianist Phil Markowitz (dazzling on "One O'Clock Jump," "Timeless" and "Original People"). Others who have their say are trombonists Michael Davis, Keith O'Quinn and Larry Farrell, trumpeter Michael Philip Mossman, alto saxophonist Pete Yellin, tenor Bob Malach and baritone Roger Rosenberg.

Fans of big bands in general and Mintzer in particular should find much to enjoy on this buoyant and generally likable album, and may even warm to the vocal tracks more readily than yours truly. As a bonus, all proceeds from its sale go directly to support a worthy cause, the MCG Jazz program.

Track Listing: El Caborojono; My Foolish Heart; One O'Clock Jump; Gently; Eye of the Hurricane; Timeless; All Is Quiet; Who's Walkin' Who; Original People (70:45).

Personnel: Bob Mintzer, leader, tenor saxophone; Lawrence Feldman, Pete Yellin, alto sax; Bob Malach, tenor sax; Roger Rosenberg, baritone sax; Frank Greene, Bob Millikan, Scott Wendholt, Michael Philip Mossman, trumpet; Michael Davis, Larry Farrell, Keith O'Quinn, trombone; David Taylor, bass trombone; Phil Markowitz, piano; Rufus Reid, bass; John Riley, drums. Special guest —Kurt Elling, vocals.

Title: Live at MCG with Kurt Elling | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: MCG Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Green Moss Black Sand" CD/LP/Track Review Green Moss Black Sand
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 30, 2017
Read "Mannequins" CD/LP/Track Review Mannequins
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "Music in the Room" CD/LP/Track Review Music in the Room
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2017
Read "In the Still of the Night" CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "II" CD/LP/Track Review II
by Kevin Press
Published: November 7, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!