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Mason Brothers Band: Two Sides, One Story

C. Michael Bailey By

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Track review of "Stage Pints"

Mason Brothers Band: Two Sides, One Story After spending 20 years performing under the leadership of others, British brothers Brad and Elliot Mason step out front, taking charge of an all-star band that redefines the trumpet-trombone front line of drummer Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers of the '50s and '60s. The round and mellow combination of Brad Mason's trumpet with Elliot Mason's trombone sounds almost like the early Crusaders.

With pianist David Kikoski, bassist Scott Colley, drummer Antonio Sanchez, and saxophonist Chris Potter joining the brothers, there is a lot of firepower to lives up to its billing.

The title of "Stage Pints" is an anagram of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps," Elliot Mason's resulting rearrangement beginning with the familiar tune played in reverse over the original bass line, reharmonized and performed alternately in 3/4 and 4/4 time. Both Masons give angular, if frenetic solos, Elliot's blowing out the top of the song. Potter exerts his muscular tone over the piece's well-worn and complex harmony of the piece, bringing the original's importance—and this re-imagining—into proper focus. When this piece hits 4/4, it takes off with a burn.

Personnel: Brad Mason: trombone; Elliot Mason: trumpet; Antonio Sanchez: drums; Scott Colley: bass; David Kikoski: piano; Chris Potter: saxophone.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Archival Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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