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Rob McConnell

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Rob McConnell (valve trombonist, arranger, composer, big band leader) was born on February 14, 1935 in London, Ontario, and passed away on May 1, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario at the age of 75 McConnell took up the valve trombone in high school and began his performing career in the early 50’s, performing with saxophonist Don Thompson in Edmonton, Bobby Gimby and fellow Canadian Maynard Ferguson.He also studied arranging and composition with Gordon Delamont. In 1968, Rob formed the Boss Brass, a big band that would become his primary performing and recording unit through the 1970’s and 80’s. A unique musical voice, cutting wit and meticulous leadership on the bandstand were just a few of McConnell’s trademarks.He was consummate professional, a perfectionist and difficult task master- an arranger of the highest order and one hell of a trombone player

News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Rob McConnell

Jazz Musician of the Day: Rob McConnell

All About Jazz is celebrating Rob McConnell's birthday today! Robert Murray Gordon (Rob) McConnell was a Canadian jazz valve trombonist, composer, arranger, music educator and recording artist. Rob McConnell took up the valve trombone in high school, and began his performing career in the early 1950s, performing and studying with Don Thompson, Bobby Gimby, and later, ...

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Article: Album Review

Paul Desmond: The Complete 1975 Toronto Recordings

Read "The Complete 1975 Toronto Recordings" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


Even if he had never played another note following the break-up of the Dave Brubeck group in 1967, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond would have entered the history books as one of music's most brilliant improvisers. During his 17 years with Brubeck, Desmond proved himself to be an indispensable part of that quartet with a wistful and ...

2

Article: Album Review

Daniel Hersog Jazz Orchestra: Night Devoid of Stars

Read "Night Devoid of Stars" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Daniel Hersog is the latest arrival in a long-running parade of world-class jazz composer-arrangers from Canada, albeit not in the image of Rob McConnell, Phil Nimmons or Rick Wilkins but more akin to some of his mentors including (but not limited to) John Hollenbeck, Ken Schaphorst and Dave Holland. Night Devoid of Stars (named for a ...

4

Article: Album Review

University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra: Embargo

Read "Embargo" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Talk about setting the bar high: on an album designed to showcase the talents of students in Professor Terry Promane's classes on arranging, the University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra's music director, Gordon Foote, chose to open Embargo with Rob McConnell's classic arrangement of the Billy Strayhorn warhorse, “Take the 'A' Train," thus giving the undergrads a ...

News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Rob McConnell

Jazz Musician of the Day: Rob McConnell

All About Jazz is celebrating Rob McConnell's birthday today! Robert Murray Gordon (Rob) McConnell was a Canadian jazz valve trombonist, composer, arranger, music educator and recording artist. Rob McConnell took up the valve trombone in high school, and began his performing career in the early 1950s, performing and studying with Don Thompson, Bobby Gimby, and later, ...

5

Article: Album Review

John Macleod: The Toronto Sound

Read "The Toronto Sound" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Yes, this is Canada's John MacLeod and the Rex Hotel Orchestra. And yes, this is the ensemble's third CD, The Toronto Sound. But close your eyes and listen carefully and it modulates into no less than an earnest albeit clandestine homage to Rob McConnell and the peerless Boss Brass. Is that a good thing? Beyond any ...

1

News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Rob McConnell

Jazz Musician of the Day: Rob McConnell

All About Jazz is celebrating Rob McConnell's birthday today! Robert Murray Gordon (Rob) McConnell was a Canadian jazz valve trombonist, composer, arranger, music educator and recording artist. Rob McConnell took up the valve trombone in high school, and began his performing career in the early 1950s, performing and studying with Don Thompson, Bobby Gimby, and later, ...

1

Article: Album Review

Stan Bann: Penmanship

Read "Penmanship" reviewed by Jack Bowers


To those who know him, it's no secret that Stan Bann is partial to the trombone. After all, the Minnesota-based composer / arranger plays one himself, leads Stan Bann's Big Bone Band and is a mainstay as writer and performer with the Minneapolis Trombone Choir. And as if that weren't a large enough clue, Bann welcomes ...

2

Article: Album Review

Dave Young / Terry Promane: Octet Vol. 2

Read "Octet Vol. 2" reviewed by Jack Bowers


It's a sign of the economic times (and a steadily shrinking audience) that more and more jazz CDs are being released these days in the near-equivalent of a “plain brown wrapper." That's certainly true of Octet Vol. 2, the second recording by Canada's Dave Young / Terry Promane ensemble. That does not mean, however, that the ...


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