167

Ken Schaphorst: Purple

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Ken Schaphorst: Purple As a jazz fan who’s listening preferences tend toward small group recordings, I find big band recordings, by definition tend to be, well...BIG. Most large ensembles, like ocean liners, have trouble maneuvering, their sounds tend to be crowded and loud. By the time Leonardo screams “iceberg” it’s too late, the record is sunk. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed Purple by captain and arranger Ken Schaphorst, his 19-piece band steers clear of the largeness. Schaphorst, the director of Jazz studies at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, enlist a modern who’s-who list of hot studio and club musicians to occupy his Big Band. Several, like John Medeski (Medeski, Martin & Wood), Doug Yates, Josh Roseman, Curtis Hasselbring, and John Carlson are members or alumni of Boston’s Either/Orchestra. Others are the names that obsessive jazz fans know to be the next big label signees, like guitarist Brad Shepik, bassist Drew Gress, pianist Uri Caine, and trumpeter Cuong Vu. Schaphorst’s writing and arranging, like that of Duke Ellington, is for individual musicians. On “Blues Almighty,” Soloists John Medeski’s Hammond B-3 organ and Brad Shepik’s guitar sound as gritty as a duo bar band and Uri Caine’s piano doesn’t so much solo on the title track as it hovers above the eighteen others. Schaphorst accomplishes a very Mingus-like smallness in this large ensemble. Like a Charles Mingus composition, Dave Taylor’s growling bass saxophone and Doug Yates’ bass clarinet provide the soul on “Subterranean.” While Ken Schaphorst’s Purple may not be the king of the world, it sure is a prince of a recording.

Track List:Uprising; With You, Then Without; Blues Almighty; Jobim; Subterranean; Purple; Bats; My island; Bounce


Personnel:

Doug Yates, alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet; Jay Brandford, alto sax, clarinet; Donny McCaslin, Seamus Blake, tenor sax; Andy Laster, baritone sax, clarinet; Dave Ballou, John Carlson, Andy Gravish, Cuong Vu, trumpet, flugelhorn; Josh Roseman, Curtis Hasselbring, Dave Taylor, trombone; Chris Creswell, bass trombone (on

Title: Purple | Year Released: 1999


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roll On CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Pandora's Bag CD/LP/Track Review Pandora's Bag
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 25, 2017
Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Big Man on Campus" CD/LP/Track Review Big Man on Campus
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 7, 2017
Read "Apprentice" CD/LP/Track Review Apprentice
by Alex Franquelli
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Strykin’ Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Strykin’ Ahead
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 13, 2017
Read "Antenna" CD/LP/Track Review Antenna
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion
by John Sharpe
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Start to Move" CD/LP/Track Review Start to Move
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: September 20, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!