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ALBUM REVIEWS

Bob Lark-Phil Woods Quintet: Thick As Thieves

Read "Thick As Thieves" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Remember the good old days when jazz groups came out swinging and took no prisoners until the battle had been won? Well, why settle for memories when you can lay your cares aside for an hour or so and groove to Thick as Thieves, the third and last album by the unrivaled and always-aggressive Bob Lark / Phil Woods Quintet, recorded, as were the first two, in concert at Joe Segal's venerable Jazz Showcase in Chicago. This is as close ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bob Lark and His Alumni Big Band: Sweet Return

Read "Sweet Return" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As was the case two years ago (2012) with its first album, Reunion, trumpeter Bob Lark's Alumni Big Band on Sweet Return is comprised of musicians he has supervised in various groups during a long and eminent career that embodies more than twenty years as director of Jazz Studies at DePaul University in Chicago. Even so, this isn't quite the same band as before; while more than a dozen sidemen from Reunion have returned to lend a hand, there's a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bob Lark and his Alumni Big Band: Sweet Return

Read "Sweet Return" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Trumpeter/educator and big band leader Bob Lark, reunites his Alumni Big Band after their critically acclaimed debut Reunion (Jazzed Media 2012), produced some of the best Jazz orchestrations in the business. Sweet Return is the group's encore performance, their return engagement, their audacious follow up and another masterful stroke by leader Lark. This Alumni band is comprised of eighteen players that the trumpeter has directed throughout his nearly thirty years as a band leader and draws on their talents for ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bob Lark and his Alumni Big Band: Reunion

Read "Reunion" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Veteran jazz trumpeter and flugelhorn master Dr. Bob Lark has directed many big bands in more than 20 years as Director of Jazz Studies at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. With Reunion, Lark reunites 22 musicians from those bands as his Alumni Big Band, debuting the group on a monster collection of powerful orchestrations. While the teacher provides the eleven original pieces, the class assignment was to pen the arrangements, as six of the alumni do so well here.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bob Lark and Friends: Cathy's Song

Read "Cathy's Song" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Trumpeter Bob Lark's “friends," on his fourth album for Jazzed Media Records, include alto saxophonist Phil Woods (two tracks), pianist Jim McNeely and bassist Rufus Reid (four apiece). There's a six-member string section on three numbers, on which Lark's flugelhorn is the only horn, while the selections with McNeely and Reid are scored for trio with Lark on flugel for three, and muted trumpet on “Green Dolphin Street," a conspicuous salute to Miles Davis on which Lark briefly bends the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Bob Lark / Phil Woods Quintet: Live at the Jazz Showcase

Read "Live at the Jazz Showcase" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The order of names on this superb in-concert CD could have gone either way. On the one hand, four-fifths of the quintet is actually the Phil Woods Quartet; on the other, trumpeter Bob Lark, who shares the front line for a second time with alto saxophonist Woods (their 2006 collaboration for Jazzed Media was In Her Eyes), wrote the first three of the album's seven selections, which clearly gives him a leg up. Maybe in the end they flipped a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Bob Lark/Phil Woods Quintet: Live at the Jazz Showcase

Read "Live at the Jazz Showcase" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Trumpeter and educator Dr. Bob Lark, who directs the DePaul University Jazz ensemble, has had a long musical association with the great alto saxophone master Phil Woods. This resulted in several performances and recordings with both the University Ensemble and their own working quintet. In May of 2006, Woods came to Chicago to celebrate the release of the first Bob Lark/Phil Woods Quintet album In Her Eyes (Jazzed Media 2006). Woods also completed a weekend gig at Chicago's world famous ...


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