All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

1

Stan Bann: Penmanship

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
To those who know him, it's no secret that Stan Bann is partial to the trombone. After all, the Minnesota-based composer / arranger plays one himself, leads Stan Bann's Big Bone Band and is a mainstay as writer and performer with the Minneapolis Trombone Choir. And as if that weren't a large enough clue, Bann welcomes to his new CD, Penmanship, four of the country's—and arguably the world's—most accomplished trombone maestros: in alphabetical order, Andy Martin, Bob McChesney, Ian McDougall and Dave Steinmeyer. As icing on the cake, the album's title track (which for reasons unknown isn't included) was written for solo trombone, four tenor trombones, two bass trombones, euphonium, tuba and rhythm.

Needless to say, the trombone plays a prominent role on every number. It must share honors, however, with Bann's invariably luminous and charming compositions and charts (he arranged the lot and penned every theme save the traditional hymn "Amazing Grace" and Louis Armstrong's syrupy crowd-pleaser, "What a Wonderful World"). It also goes without saying that Bann's guest soloists are exemplary (Martin and McChesney trading volleys on "Fait Accompli," Steinmeyer on "Petrichor" and "Stonebridge," McDougall on the irrepressible finale, "Fata Morgana"). Bann solos twice, on the sunny curtain-raiser, "Duende," and the alluring "Morning, Beautiful." On every number, the soloists are admirably supported by Jim tenBensel and the Minneapolis Trombone Choir or the pitch-perfect Big Bone Band.

"Amazing Grace" was arranged to showcase the trombone choir sans solos, as were the colorful "Violet Morning," "It's a Wonderful World" and full-throated "All Who've Gone Before." In every case, beauty is the predominant trait, one that is evidently inherent in Bann's approach to music in general and the trombone in particular. He writes always with the responsive listener in mind, which makes his compositions an unequivocal pleasure to hear and appreciate. A word or two about Bann's guest artists: in Los Angeles, the recording studios are home to the most talented and sought-after players, and that is where Martin and McChesney spend much of their time; McDougall is an alumnus of Rob McConnell's Boss Brass (enough said), while Steinmeyer is a former sideman with and leader of the peerless USAF Airmen of Note. They and the other trombones are steadfastly reinforced by a blue-chip rhythm section comprised of pianist Cheryl Bann, bassist Bruce "Pooch" Heine and drummer Andy Artz.

Even though Penmanship clocks in at a modest forty-nine minutes, not one of them is wasted. For trombone lovers, an abundance of uncommon riches.

Track Listing: Duende; Fait Accompli; Violet Morning; Petrichor; All Who’ve Gone Before; Morning, Beautiful; Amazing Grace; Stonebridge; What a Wonderful World; Fata Morgana.

Personnel: Stan Bann: leader, composer, arranger, trombone; Dave Steinmeyer: trombone; Ian McDougall: trombone; Andy Martin: trombone; Bob McChesney: trombone; Cheryl Bann: piano; Bruce Heine: bass; Andy Artz: drums. Minneapolis Trombone Choir, Stan Bann’s Big Bone Band (personnel unlisted).

Title: Penmanship | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read SuperClusters CD/LP/Track Review
SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Your Queen Is A Reptile CD/LP/Track Review
Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Melodious Drum CD/LP/Track Review
Melodious Drum
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 21, 2018
Read The Speed of Dark CD/LP/Track Review
The Speed of Dark
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Love & Peace CD/LP/Track Review
Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read La Saboteuse CD/LP/Track Review
La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "Screen Sounds" CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Root Structure" CD/LP/Track Review Root Structure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 31, 2017
Read "Anti-Hero" CD/LP/Track Review Anti-Hero
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 1, 2017
Read "Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim" CD/LP/Track Review Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim
by Kevin Press
Published: February 19, 2018
Read "Sticks and Stones" CD/LP/Track Review Sticks and Stones
by John Kelman
Published: February 3, 2018
Read "Just Funkin' Around" CD/LP/Track Review Just Funkin' Around
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 5, 2017