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

Read "Meeting of Minds" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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 ...

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Bob Mintzer: All L.A. Band

Read "All L.A. Band" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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 ...

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Bob Mintzer: Seeing the bigger picture

Read "Bob Mintzer: Seeing the bigger picture" reviewed by Ben Scholz

"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 ...

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Bob Mintzer Big Band: Get Up!

Read "Get Up!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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 ...

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Bob Mintzer Big Band: Get Up!

Read "Get Up!" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

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

Read "Bob Mintzer: Amazing Reach" reviewed by Bob Kenselaar

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 ...

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Bob Mintzer Big Band: For The Moment

Read "For The Moment" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

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 ...

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Bob Mintzer: Canyon Cove

Read "Canyon Cove" reviewed by John Kelman

Between a bevy of sideman dates, longstanding gigs with Yellowjackets and his own big band, and periodic small ensemble recordings like the unassuming and heartfelt In the Moment (Art of Life, 2007), Bob Mintzer has remained one of the busiest woodwind multi-instrumentalists in jazz for nearly four decades, since first cutting his teeth as youngster with drum legend/mentor Buddy Rich. Largely focusing on the rich bebop tradition and its various offshoots, Mintzer has always managed to remain relevant by placing ...

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Bob Mintzer Big Band: Swing Out

Read "Swing Out" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

The Manchester Crafsmen's Guild is both an institution that preserves, presents and promotes jazz, and an organization that produces a long-running, Grammy-winning series known as MCG Jazz. One favorite son of this label is Bob Mintzer, who is also a member of the Heads Up group, the Yellowjackets.Mintzer is a versatile artist who plays a variety of instruments, composes, arranges and appears in session with other artists. He recently joined the faculty at the University of Southern California. ...

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Bob Mintzer Quartet: In The Moment

Read "In The Moment" reviewed by Christopher Shoe

Bob Mintzer has been an active and successful member of the jazz community for some time now. He has been involved in numerous projects ranging from a fifteen-year stint with The Yellowjackets and his local New York big band to countless side gigs and projects with some of the most well-known figures in jazz. Something he has not done in a while, however, is release a small group recording. So after six long years of silence, the Bob Mintzer Quartet ...

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Bob Mintzer Quartet: In the Moment

Read "In the Moment" reviewed by Jim Santella

Fourteen years with the Yellowjackets is only a part of what saxophonist Bob Mintzer represents. He has also led his big band and smaller ensembles through jazz's mainstream time and again over a career that spans more than thirty years of contemporary jazz. His tenor saxophone gives this album a cool quality that turns each melody into a flexible vine that grows around and through the garden.

The occasion for this session was a gathering of friends; thus, ...

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Bob Mintzer Quartet: In the Moment

Read "In the Moment" reviewed by John Kelman

Horror writer Stephen King once wrote that you can drink vintage wine out of a piece of fine crystal or out of a Flintstones jelly glass. The drink is the same but there is a difference. In the realm of mainstream jazz, there's a similar difference between playing all the right notes and actually meaning them. Given the number of mainstream records released every year it's a challenge to separate those that speak the truth from those that simply speak. ...


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