The contrast between the voices of Miles Osland and Vince DiMartino makes this edition of big band arrangements more adventuresome than most. Recorded at the University of Kentucky's Singletary Center a year ago, this is one brings out the best yet from Lexington's Arts capital. Osland "sings" through his horn with a blues-tinged expression that recalls Cannonball Adderley, while DiMartino sparkles with a sweet tone and well-placed articulation. The trumpeter doesn't just allow those notes to appear anywhere; he places each one carefully, right on target. The extra care results in one beautiful ballad feature after another. The arrangement of "It Might as Well Be Spring," for example, sets the trumpeter "naked," out in front of the band, to do or die. DiMartino swallows up the peripheral sound that emerges from his accompaniment and then lays it all out before the listener with polished care. Like pearls, his tones drop tastefully with an expensive air. Arrangements by Sammy Nestico, Raleigh Dailey, Osland and Willie Maiden place the band in a good position for dynamic variety. True to form, recording engineer David Henderson places each soloist where he can be appreciated best, while capturing the band's crests and valleys accurately. Osland's features provide a tour through jazz's big band corners: swing, Spanish classical, hot bop, and cool ballads. His romp through Geoff Keezer's "Masaman" links alto sax with flugelhorn in a modern approach to harmony and rhythm. Dailey's arrangement of Mingus' "Pussy Cat Dues" captures the intended spirit and makes room for a double handful of soloists. The charts provide the framework and these artists make it work. Osland and DiMartino provide obvious leadership, as well as a paradigm for putting superb musicianship together with a swinging affair.
Track Listing: Real Life; Aim for the Heart; Niece Piece; Spring Is Here; My Secret Love; It Might as Well Be Spring; Tears in Her Eyes; A Night in Tunisia; Tu y Mi Cancion; Fantasia on an Ellington Theme; Pussy Cat Dues; Masaman; Trumpet Tune; I Was a Fool (to Let You Go); I'm Free
Personnel: Vince DiMartino - Trumpet/Flugelhorn; Miles Osland - Soprano & Alto Saxes/Clarinet/Piccolo/Alto & Bass Flutes; Hunt Butler - Alto Sax/Flute; Mike Tracy - Alto & Tenor Sax/Flute; Gordon Towell, David Anderson -Tenor Sax/Clarinet/Flute; Lisa Osland - Baritone Sax/Bass Clarinet; Rob Parton, Rich Byrd, Steve Bottom, Tom Brawner, Rick Cook - Trumpet; David Henderson, Dave Ashley, Brad Kerns - Trombone; Lee Watts, Hap Bourgois - Bass Trombone; Raleigh Dailey - Piano; Will Renshaw - Guitar; Larry Nelson - Bass; Jason Tiemann - Drums; Jim Campbell - Vibes/Bells/Percussion
I love jazz because it is in my blood. It is the only original American art form. It is sacred. The greatest musicians are jazz artists.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 listening to my father's records of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young.
I met Sonny Stitt, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Michael Brecker, Cannonball Adderley, Walter Booker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, George Benson, Mike
Stern, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Harper, Skip Hadden, Charlie Haden.
The best show I ever attended was Joe Lovano with Soundprints at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio in 2014.
The first jazz record I bought was Miles Smiles.