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University Of Kentucky Mega-Sax Ensemble: Stinkin' Up The Place

Jim Santella By

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This follow-up to the Mega-Sax Sea Breeze recording We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Rhythm Section features creative improvised solo and ensemble work from the younger generation. Miles Osland, Professor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Kentucky, turns out a motivated group of improvisers year after year. Bryan Murray wails and moans on alto through "Send in the New Boy," and soars confidently with a familiar melody on "Invitation." He’s backed with powerhouse rhythms by the rest of the saxophone quartet.

Bob Mintzer’s "The Red Sea" places five saxophonists in the ring with piano, bass and drums. Through creative arranging, the ensemble develops a big band sound with a liberal number of solos. Osland adds a lovely flute solo. Later, on "Doe-Eyed" he and Bryan Murray provide warm saxophone features on alto and tenor respectively. "Invitation" is interpreted as a melodic big band gesture; this from an ensemble half that size with no brass. Jim McNeely’s "Shenanigans" is built carefully from a smooth and dramatic modern mainstream start to an "outside" finish. Murray’s "hot" tenor solo moves the unit along from a straight-ahead approach to creative improvised jazz. As long as our schools continue to provide an environment that encourages such free-flowing improvisation, the music will continue to grow.


Track Listing: Hiatus; Send in the New Boy; Invitation; The Red Sea; Shenanigans; Cruisin

Title: Stinkin' Up The Place | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Sea Breeze Jazz


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