503

Mark Colby: Speaking of Stan

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Mark Colby: Speaking of Stan 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

More Articles

Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Sonder CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Putting Off Death CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Free Radicals" CD/LP/Track Review Free Radicals
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 7, 2017
Read "Nine Thoughts For One Word" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Thoughts For One Word
by John Ephland
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "We Are The World" CD/LP/Track Review We Are The World
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "Time on My Hands" CD/LP/Track Review Time on My Hands
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Outside The Comfort Zone" CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.