Home » Jazz Articles » Steve Wright Big Band: Take Two

278
Album Review

Steve Wright Big Band: Take Two

By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Wright Big Band: Take Two
It’s hard to believe that 17 years have passed since Steve Wright’s well–endowed big band recorded Take Two (although a glance at the disc’s playing time serves as a conspicuous reminder). Time certainly hasn’t dimmed its luster, nor have the passing years conspired to make Wright’s consistently inventive compositions (eight of the ten are his) sound dated or any less appealing. While solos are consistently sharp, the emphasis is on enterprising ensemble passages, and no song overstays its welcome. The title track, “Take Two,” is solidly in the Sammy Nestico league, and everything else he writes is as brisk and invigorating as a cool drink on a sunny afternoon. The others, guitarist Rick Cornish’s “Ballade” and “Blues Around the Corner” (on which Cornish and trombonist Dave Graf solo), are equally sharp and enlivening. Wright, a former lead trumpeter for the U.S. Air Force’s highly respected Airmen of Note who now makes his home in Minnesota, is a gifted player/composer whose charts not only swing with gusto but are great fun to hear, as is the band, whose members’ names were unknown to me (except for Cornish and Brian Grivna, whose warm alto is the cardinal voice on “Ballade”). Besides Wright, Grivna, Cornish and Graf, there are admirable solos by Dave Karr (tenor on “Hidden Dimple,” “Take Two,” “Doubledad,” flute on “Pickles”), Ken Holmen (tenor on “Who Nose”), soprano Mark Henderson (“Samara”) and pianist Jimmy Hamilton (“Take Two,” “Butterfly”). Although the disc runs for less than 40 minutes, there’s scarcely a moment of “down time.” In other words, everything on Take Two is notably impressive, thoroughly up–to–date and well worth hearing, even though nearly two decades have passed since its inception.

Contact: Steve Wright, 612–933–4496 (e–mail [email protected]).

Track listing: Hidden Dimple; Pickles; Samara; Ballade; Take Two; Empathy; Butterfly; Doubledad; Blues Around the Corner; Who “Nose.” (38:21).

Personnel

Steve Wright, Joe Morrissey, Dave Jensen, Greg Lewis, Fred Webster, trumpets, flugelhorns; Brian Grivna, alto sax; Mark Henderson, alto, soprano sax; Dave Karr, tenor sax, flute; Ken Holmen, tenor sax; Kathy Jensen, baritone sax; John England, Dave Graf, Jim tenBensel, Dean Menten, Steve Devich, trombones; Jimmy Hamilton, piano; Rick Cornish, guitar; Bruce Calin, bass; Gary Gauger, drums; Jay Mattes, percussion (drums on

Album information

Title: Take Two | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Music Endeavors


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Le Tre Sorelle
Alla Boara
Moten/López/Cleaver
Fred Moten, Brandon López, Gerald Cleaver

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.