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Rob McConnell


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


Article: Opinion

Can You Judge an Album By Its Label?

Read "Can You Judge an Album By Its Label?" reviewed by Dave Hughes

This article was first published at All About Jazz in March 1999. For almost as long as there have been record labels, many labels have sought to build a reputation or a brand identity for themselves in terms of the genre of music presented on their labels or the technical quality of their product. ...


Old Friends / New Music

Label: Cornerstone Records Inc.
Released: 2023
Track listing: Ray's Idea; There's Been Too Many Changes; Pannonica; Greenhouse; Friends Again; All The Best; Simple Samba; Countless Blues.


Article: Album Review

Don Thompson & Rob Piltch: Bells... Now and Then

Read "Bells... Now and Then" reviewed by Pierre Giroux

Multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson and guitarist Rob Piltch are two Canadian musicians who, in 1981 and 1982, recorded an album entitled Bells for the Umbrella label. The material has been remastered and reissued as Bells...Now and Then, bookended by two new recordings of compositions by Thompson. Don Thompson has been a highly-regarded part ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Max Roach, Carl Saunders & Dave Mancini

Read "Max Roach, Carl Saunders & Dave Mancini" reviewed by Joe Dimino

We begin the 833rd Episode of Neon Jazz with rhythm master Dave Mancini. From there, we hear from one of his past collaborators in Rosemary Clooney. We get into a host of tasty tracks from pianists John Herberman, Michael Weiss and George Colligan. We also feature the dynamic Atlanta duo The Moore McColl Jazz Society. Finally, ...


Article: Album Review

Angela DeNiro: Swingin' with Legends 2

Read "Swingin' with Legends 2" reviewed by Pierre Giroux

Vocalist Angela DeNiro sings with blue-ribbon vocal abilities. This is evident in her release Swingin' With Legends 2 . Accompanied by the Ron Aprea Big Band, supplemented by special guests Randy Brecker, Ken Peplowski and Lew Tabackin, she sails through fourteen love songs written by some of the greatest composers of the American Songbook, providing a ...


Article: Album Review

The Schwager/Oliver Quintet: Senza Reza

Read "Senza Reza" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Canada became the first country beyond the USA to have developed its own vibrant jazz scene. What do major jazz artists like Oscar Peterson, Maynard Ferguson, Gil Evans, Rob McConnell and Diana Krall have in common? They're all Canadians, like the players of The Schwagger/Oliver Quintet presenting their debut on Senza Resa, an Italian phrase meaning ...


Article: Album Review

The Rob McConnell Sextet: Old Friends / New Music

Read "Old Friends / New Music" reviewed by Pierre Giroux

Rob McConnell was a valve trombonist, arranger, composer and leader of the big band called the Boss Brass, which set a new standard for jazz writing through the use of complex passages and close section harmony, and in 1983 won a Grammy. In this digital-only release by Cornerstone Records, McConnell leads a sextet comprised of Guido ...


Article: Play This!

Rob McConnell & The Boss Brass: Easy To Love

Read "Rob McConnell & The Boss Brass: Easy To Love" reviewed by Brian Eaton

Rob McConnell & The Boss Brass was perhaps one of the most underrated jazz big bands. This world-class band from Toronto, Canada was led by trombonist, composer, and arranger Rob McConnell and featured top-notch players including altoist Moe Koffman, guitarist Ed Bickert, flugelhornist Guido Basso, and Eugene Amaro on tenor. Released back in 1985 on their ...

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! 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 ...


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