253

Mark Hetzler: Blues, Ballads, and Beyond: Influences Outside the Concert Hall

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
The trombone has proven not so an elusive lead instrument in jazz. But what of moving beyond jazz. There is classical literature addressing the instrument. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's bastardly father, Leopold, composed the first classical trombone piece, Concerto for Alto Trombone in 1756. Josef Haydn's brother, Michael, composed Concerto shortly after in 1764. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Jan Sandstrom, Arvo Part, Ernst Block, they all tried their hand at taming the beast so masterfully wielded by Ory, Teagarden, Johnson, and Fuller in jazz. Trombonist Mark Hetzler has assembled a collection of contemporary trombone compositions that brighten the light on this often ill-considered instrument on his Blues, Ballads, and Beyond: Influences Outside the Concert Hall.

Hetzler presents the trombone in a variety of formats from the space poetry of Michael Colgrass' "Mystic with a Credit Card" to Robert Suderburg's crepuscular "Night Set of Trombone and Piano." Dennis Llinas pairs the trombone with vides approaching an interesting alchemy of jazz and chamber music. Enrique Crespo's "Improvisation No. 1" is a solo excursion into the brass dynamics of is instrument replete with serious musical thought tempered by a sly sense of humor. Brian Lynn's fanciful "Doolallynastics" is pure joy expressed this deadly serious camp and vocals raspberries. This may be the trombone's true temperament, one of defiance and levity.

Hetzler closes his collection with a "Sonata" by Dr. Jack Cooper. Cooper, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Memphis, garnered impressive positive attention for two recent projects, the monumental Mists: Charles Ives for Jazz Orchestra (Planet Arts Records, 2014) and bright and innovative The Mike Waldrop Big Band's Time Within Itself (Origin, 2015) featuring Cooper's superb charts. Hetzler approaches Coopers three-section composition overtly with confidence and fertile imagination. The opening section "Mambo" features Hetzler against piano, bass, and percussion. "Solo" is exactly that, Hetzler alone, once more, exploring both smooth crevasses and rough edges of contemporary musical thought. Things are wound up in the coda, "Naningo," an anxious and moody exposition of staccato notes and brisk skipping time. For a rather specialized release, Hetzler's Blues, Ballads, and Beyond: Influences Outside the Concert Hall does for the trombone what Matt Hiamovitz's Orbit: Music for Solo Cello (1945—2014) (Pentatone, 2015) did for that instrument.

Track Listing: Mystic with a Credit Card (Michael Colgrass); Javier’s Dialog (Dennis Llinas); Improvisation No. 1 (Enrique Crespo); Sonata for Trombone and Piano (Daniel Schnyder); Night Set for Trombone and Piano (Robert Suderburg); Doolallynastics (Bryan Lynn); Sonata (Jack Cooper).

Personnel: Mark Hetzler: trombone; Vincent Fuh: piano, keyboards; Buzz Kemper: narration; Anthony Di Sanza: precussion; Steve Kieve: marimba; Joseph Murfin: vibraphone; Brett Walter: vibes and gongs; Martha Fischer: piano; Todd Hammes: drums; Nick Moran: bass; Yorel Lashley: congas.

Title: Blues, Ballads, and Beyond: Influences Outside the Concert Hall | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Summit Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Incidentals CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Door Girl CD/LP/Track Review Door Girl
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Clockwise / The Music of Cedar Walton" CD/LP/Track Review Clockwise / The Music of Cedar Walton
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Protean Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Protean Reality
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Milestones" CD/LP/Track Review Milestones
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "On the Spot" CD/LP/Track Review On the Spot
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 30, 2017
Read "Inside The Moment" CD/LP/Track Review Inside The Moment
by James Nadal
Published: June 21, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.