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Mark Masters Ensemble: Our Metier

Read "Our Metier" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Mark Masters, an extraordinarily talented and perhaps undersung arranger of large ensembles jazz, has spent a good deal of artistic energy on crafting recordings that explore other people's compositions. His Capri Records output includes The Clifford Brown Project (2003), celebrating the sounds of the too-soon-gone trumpet legend; Porgy and Bess (2005), from the George Gershwin songbook; ...

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Mark Masters Ensemble: Everything You Did - The Music of Walter Becker & Donald Fagen

Read "Everything You Did - The Music of Walter Becker & Donald Fagen" reviewed by AAJ Italy Staff

Qual è stata la lezione degli Steely Dan? Avvicinare il pop al jazz. Semplice, no? Non proprio, perché Donald Fagen e Walter Becker avevano davanti a sé varie possibilità e infinite soluzioni di sintesi. Non hanno scelto certo quella più mainstream, più scontata. Non era da loro, professionisti e perfezionisti fino alla nausea. Costruivano melodiche accattivanti e ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Mark Masters Ensemble: Ellington Saxophone Encounters

Read "Mark Masters Ensemble: Ellington Saxophone Encounters" reviewed by Greg Simmons

It could be argued that the core of bandleader Duke Ellington's wonderful textural sound was the way he harmonized his reed section, with great woody chords and lush polyphonic melodies. That reed section, with the great Johnny Hodges leading on alto, stalwarts like Paul Gonsalves on tenor and Harry Carney on baritone, as well as shorter-term ...

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Mark Masters Ensemble: Ellington Saxophone Encounters

Read "Ellington Saxophone Encounters" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Longtime big band arranger/bandleader Mark Masters happens to be President of the Pasadena, CA-based non-profit American Jazz Institute (AJI), while baritone saxophonist great Gary Smulyan sits on its Advisory Board. Together, the two have often joined forces on musical projects intended to foster and promote jazz; Ellington Saxophone Encounters is another one of their AJI collaborations, ...

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Mark Masters Ensemble: Ellington Saxophone Encounters

Read "Ellington Saxophone Encounters" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Countless albums have been made with the sole intention of honoring the great Duke Ellington by highlighting his personality, piano skills and pile of hits, but they don't tell the whole story; part of his legacy rests with the men who brought his music to life. The individuals who filled out the roster in Ellington's illustrious ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mark Masters Ensemble: Farewell Walter Dewey Redman

Read "Farewell Walter Dewey Redman" reviewed by AAJ Italy Staff

Mark Masters è un artista di spicco della Capri Records che da tempo dedica le proprie qualità di arrangiatore alle opere di alcuni musicisti come Lee Konitz, Gary Mac Farland e Clifford Brown. Quando, nel 2006, si appresta ad entrare in sala di registrazione con Dewey Redman per un disco dedicato alle sue composizioni, il sassofonista di Forth ...

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Mark Masters Ensemble: Farewell Walter Dewey Redman

Read "Farewell Walter Dewey Redman" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

It's hard to believe that Dewey Redman isn't still around when listening to Mark Masters Ensemble set, Farewell Walter Dewey Redman. Masters and the group--especially alto saxophonist Oliver Lake--capture the soul and sound of the unsung tenor titan on this marvelously inspired recording.

Dewey Redman (1931-2006), the father of saxophonist Joshua Redman, is probably best ...

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Mark Masters Ensemble: Porgy & Bess Redefined!

Read "Porgy & Bess Redefined!" reviewed by George Harris

Well, they said it couldn't be done, but he did it. Arranger Mark Masters has breathed new and refreshing life into Gershwin's Porgy & Bess. Just when you thought Miles may have had the last word back in '61, Masters adds a touch of Mingus, a sprig of Kenton, and songs that you've heard a thousand ...

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Mark Masters Ensemble: Porgy & Bess Redefined!

Read "Porgy & Bess Redefined!" reviewed by Jim Santella

Mark Masters is conductor and president of the American Jazz Institute in Pasadena, California. His projects honor the history of jazz while putting his personal stamp on each arrangement. Porgy & Bess Redefined! emerges fresh and alive, as Masters has seen fit to arrange the time-tested music for jazz orchestra with its themes cemented between soloists. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mark Masters Ensemble: Porgy & Bess Redefined!

Read "Porgy & Bess Redefined!" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone

This is the second outstanding treatment of Gershwin's famed folk opera, Porgy & Bess, within the past eight months. On the other recent version, Jeff Lindberg's Chicago Jazz Orchestra faithfully delivered the 1959 Gil Evans-Miles Davis arrangement with Clark Terry providing superlative trumpet interpretation. Mark Masters, who has spent the past few seasons artfully interpreting the ...