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Bob Stewart is one of a select few who have catapulted the tuba into more of a prominent role within jazz and modern music circles. With that, Stewart enlists a mighty impressive cast of jazz musicians along with the legendary folk-blues singer/songwriter, Taj Mahal on Then & Now.
Stewart handles the bottom end without the utilization or perhaps, requirements of a bassist as he drives the band forward on “Hambone” which is a New Orleans style R&B/Funk number featuring brassy choruses from the horn section. Stewart is poetry in motion continuing on Jelly Roll Morton’s classic “King Porter Stomp” as you can taste the New Orleans heat and humidity through the pumping lines, festive horn arrangement and rich lyricism. Throughout, Stewart is the traffic cop as the brass section consisting of trumpeters James Zollar, Stanton Davis, trombonist Steve Turre, french hornist John Clark and others are more than just your ordinary second line pocket band!
Mr. Stewart performs a duet with Taj Mahal on Mahal’s “Fishin Blues” as you could easily visualize the duo sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River trying to catch some fish while Mahal blissfully sings the time away........Alto saxophonist Carlos Ward’s composition titled, “Nette” boasts a sprightly combo funk/swing motif while the musicians perform a brief yet sonorous and somewhat introspective rendition of Ornette Coleman’s “Law Years”.
Then & Now is a gas! It’s all about top-notch musicians having a blast as Stewart and company will most assuredly have you tapping your toes, dancing in the living room or more importantly, feeling good about yourself! * * * *
Bob Stewart; Tuba: Dave Burrell; Piano: John Clark; French Horn: Stanton Davis; Trumpet: Fred Griffen; French Horn: Jerome Harris; Guitar: Graham Haynes; Cornet, Trumpet: Taj Mahal; Guita, Vocals: Aaron Scott; Drums: Marshall Sealy; French Horn: Steve Turre; Trombone: Carlos Ward; Alto Saxophone: Buddy Williams; Drums: James Zollar; Trumpet