All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

503

Mark Colby: Speaking of Stan

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Mark Colby, who may be the finest tenor saxophonist you've never heard, pays tribute to a close friend on Speaking of Stan—a friend who happened to be one of the most renowned masters of the tenor who ever lived, the incomparable Stan Getz. Colby and Getz first met in 1963, when Mark was fourteen years old and Stan was performing in North Miami Beach, Florida, and they quickly became buddies. "We spent time playing our horns, talking, playing tennis, going to the Otto Link factory in Pompano Beach or to Frank Wells in Chicago in quest of the Holy Grail (saxophone mouthpieces), Colby writes in the liner notes. Although aware of Getz's shadowy reputation, he recalls, "I never saw his darker side. In all that time we spent together, he always treated me with kindness and sincerity.

In befriending Getz, Colby was given a unique opportunity to listen to and learn from one of the greatest jazz saxophonists who ever lived. Judging from the music presented here, I am moved to avow that he learned his lessons well. While Colby doesn't play exactly like Getz, there's more than enough similarity in his sound and style to readily connect the dots. There are times when one could almost swear that he (or she) was listening to a new recording by Stan—which would be impossible, as he passed away in June 1991—but the impression soon fades as Colby's creative temperament arises to take the music in a new direction. Even so, that glorious Getz-like sound lingers in one's ears...

In putting together his tribute, Colby writes, he "decided to choose material from a variety of sources, some of which Stan had never played, but I think, would have enjoyed doing so. Mark's friends Bob Meyer and Chris Madsen composed new works ("When It Matters, "Give and Take ) and Colby wrote "What Is a Buddha? (aka "What Is This Thing Called Love? ). Engaging compositions by Benny Carter, Irving Berlin, Sergio Milhanovich, Chick Corea, Gary Burton and Gigi Gryce precede the suitable musical finale, Gordon Jenkins' plaintive "Goodbye. The album closes with Colby's interesting three-minute reminiscence, "Speaking of Stan.

The instrumentation varies as well, with a six-piece string section added on "When It Matters and "Give and Take, a fifteen-member big band backing Colby on Gryce's swinging "Blue Getz Blues. "Goodbye is a duet for Colby and pianist Jim McNeely, who is part of a quartet (with bassist Kelly Sill and drummer Joel Spencer) on Milhanovich's "Sometime Ago, Colby's "Buddha and Berlin's "How Deep Is the Ocean? A second quartet on the remaining three numbers includes vibraphonist Dick Sisto, bassist Eric Hochberg and drummer Bob Rummage.

While Stan Getz would no doubt have been greatly pleased by what his friend has produced, Speaking of Stan isn't just another "tribute album but stands securely on its own as a splendid paradigm of contemporary Jazz. In saying thanks to Getz, Mark Colby has shown again that he is one of this country's foremost tenor stylists, one whose voice, no less than Stan's, deserves to be widely heard and appreciated.


Track Listing: When It Matters; Only Trust Your Heart; How Deep Is the Ocean; Sometime Ago; What Is a Buddha?; Sea Journey; Out of Focus; Give and Take; Blue Getz Blues; Goodbye; Speaking of Stan. (66:31)

Personnel: Mark Colby: tenor saxophone. (Tracks 1,8) Jim Trompeter: piano; Eric Hochberg: bass; Bob Rummage: drums; Peter LaBella, Kevin Case, Teresa Fream, Mike Shelton: violin; Terri Van Valkinburgh: viola; Pete Szczepanek: cello. (Tracks 2,6,7) Dick Sisto: vibraphone; Eric Hochberg: bass; Bob Rummage: drums. (Tracks 3-5) Jim McNeely: piano; Kelly Sill: bass; Joel Spencer: drums. (Track 9) Rob Parton, Scott Wagstaff, Kirk Garrison, Mike McGrath: trumpet; Bob Frankich, Bob Rzeszutko, Brian Budzik, Ted Hogarth: reeds; Tom Garling, Brian Jacobi, Andy Baker: trombone; Tom Matta: bass trombone; Don Stille: piano; Tim Fox: bass; Bob Rummage: drums. (Track 10) Jim McNeely: piano.

Title: Speaking of Stan | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Hallway Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Reflections

Reflections

Origin Records
2009

buy
Speaking of Stan

Speaking of Stan

Hallway Records
2006

buy
Speaking of Stan

Speaking of Stan

Hallway Records
2005

buy
Tenor Reference

Tenor Reference

Hallway Records
2002

buy
 

Reunion

W.E.R.F.
1999

buy
 

Mango Tango

W.E.R.F.
1990

buy

Related Articles

Read Orientation CD/LP/Track Review
Orientation
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Romaria CD/LP/Track Review
Romaria
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 18, 2018
Read You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl! CD/LP/Track Review
You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Autres Paysages CD/LP/Track Review
Autres Paysages
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Elvesang CD/LP/Track Review
Elvesang
by John Kelman
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Necessary Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Necessary Arrangements
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Standards" CD/LP/Track Review Standards
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Don't Blink" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Blink
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 5, 2017
Read "Atody Man" CD/LP/Track Review Atody Man
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 27, 2018
Read "A Cast of Thousands" CD/LP/Track Review A Cast of Thousands
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 30, 2017
Read "Sonic Fiction" CD/LP/Track Review Sonic Fiction
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 4, 2018
Read "Music in the Room" CD/LP/Track Review Music in the Room
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2017