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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Mintzer Big Band / New York Voices: Meeting of Minds

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Here's an appetizing treat for fans of big bands and vocals alike, neatly wrapped in one handsome package by the stalwart Bob Mintzer Big Band and the splendid New York Voices. Together, band and voices take a fresh look at eight memorable standards from the Great American Songbook written by such master craftsmen as Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Hoagy Carmichael, Kurt Weill, Burton Lane and others, entwining for good measure a brace of instrumentals: Vincent Youmans / Irving Caesar's buoyant ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Mintzer Big Band/New York Voices: Meeting Of Minds

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Meeting Of Minds plays more like a merger than an encounter. And that, after all, is how all successful collaborations should feel. Hearing Bob Mintzer's big band and New York Voices join forces for a trip through newly-arranged takes on '30s and '40s gems from the Great American Songbook is a reminder that some music can ring timeless and appear pliant all at once when placed in the right hands. New York Voices has paired up with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Mintzer: All L.A. Band

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Even though saxophonist Bob Mintzer's name rests alone atop the marquee, the All L.A. Band is actually a mutual collaboration with acclaimed drummer Peter Erskine, one of Mintzer's colleagues in the Jazz Studies department at the University of Southern California. Besides occupying the drum chair, Erskine produced the album, while Mintzer composed and arranged its ten handsome themes. Among the musical styles closest to Mintzer's heart are Afro-Cuban and funk, and there is plenty of both on ...

INTERVIEWS

Bob Mintzer: Seeing the bigger picture

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"To be a great musician one must zoom out and be a part of the big picture when playing in an ensemble. The primary focus is on the greater whole. Only by doing this does a significant band sound emerge. If people of the world could only grasp this way of looking at things, we would be much better off." --Bob Mintzer The global community is presented with an extremely myopic point of view when it comes to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Mintzer Big Band: Get Up!

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Even after more than three decades as a big-band leader, and with twenty well-received albums under his belt, Grammy winner Bob Mintzer keeps pushing the envelope, tweaking his recipe and exploring new ways in which to challenge himself and his sidemen while seducing the listener's ear. Known among other things for his fondness for Latin music, Mintzer has chosen instead on Get Up!, recorded live in October 2014 at Pittsburgh's Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, to plunge headlong into the pulsating realm ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Mintzer Big Band: Get Up!

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Funk and R&B are the dominant sonic strains on Get Up!--saxophonist-composer Bob Mintzer's twentieth big band release overall and his fifth for the MCG Jazz imprint. In October of 2014, Mintzer took to the stage for two nights at Pittsburgh's Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, armed with some of his grooving big band arrangements and accompanied by a group of his heavy hitter musician friends--Yellowjackets, big band mainstays, and studio greats among them. The music they made, captured here ...

INTERVIEWS

Bob Mintzer: Amazing Reach

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For about half of his four decade-long career in jazz, Bob Mintzer has been a member of the Yellowjackets, one of the most enduring, distinctive and creative bands in contemporary jazz. But, oddly enough, this association is a relatively small slice of Mintzer's remarkably multifaceted life in music as a saxophonist, bass clarinetist, composer, arranger, educator and leader of his own big bands and small groups. For Mintzer, the phrase “busy as a bee" certainly applies.Born in 1953 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Mintzer Big Band: For The Moment

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Musicians can consider themselves lucky if they find success in one particular area, but there are a select few that seem to flourish in every music-related environment that they encounter. Bob Mintzer is part of this elite list; his versatility is his greatest virtue but, while he's a world class saxophonist and educator, his legacy will likely be connected to his work as a composer and arranger in the world of big bands. He learned from the best, sitting in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Erskine / Bob Mintzer / Darek Oles / Alan Pasqua: Standards 2, Movie Music

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Standards hold a particular fascination for drummer Peter Erskine, as initiated through his Grammy-nominated Standards(Fuzzy Music, 2008). Unlike that first album--comprised primarily of old jazz standards--Standards 2, Movie Music focuses on songs that are considered standards from the realm of Hollywood movies. Featuring music from Gone With The Wind (1939), considered by many to be one of the best movies ever made, to the main theme from Rosemary's Baby (1968), this unusual collection of songs, by necessity, has to leave ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Erskine / Bob Mintzer / Derek Oles / Alan Pasqua: Standards 2, Movie Music

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While the songs featured on Standards 2, Movie Music were given an initial audience through the medium of film, some of them have led a fruitful existence beyond the borders of the silver screen. Some melodies--like Tara's Theme," from 1939's Gone With The Wind--will always be associated with their point of origin, but much of Cole Porter's catalog, including the two inclusions on this album ("Night And Day" and “I Concentrate On You"), is more familiar to current audiences than ...