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Richard Todd: With a Twist

C. Michael Bailey By

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The French horn is no stranger to Jazz. Claude Thornhill used French horns in his 1940s big band where they made big impression of arranger Gil Evans. Evans then joined Miles Davis for his famous Nonet sides that made up The Birth of the Cool sessions. It has been a bit of a hard road for the instrument to break into the forefront of jazz improvisation. Richard Todd has stepped up to the challenge with a disc of jazz pieces that is nothing if not interesting.

With a Twist features music by David Raskin, Johnny Mandel, Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer, Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington. The overall tone of the recording is directed by the overall tone of the instrument— mellowness. On the whole, With a Twist sounds like the movie soundtrack behind dialog. The instrument lacks the brightness of the trumpet and the sheer guts of a saxophone and the music it produces is tranquil in nature and unassuming in temperament. None of this means that this is a bad disc; quite to the contrary, this may be one of the most listenable discs I have heard in some time. It is a most relaxing experience. Heartily recommended for the light jazz crowd and anyone wanting to chill.


Track Listing: Nightwalk; Discovery; A Song After Sundown; Central Avenue Strut; Quiet Time; Emily; Days of Wine and Roses; Race; `Round Midnight; In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning

Personnel: Richard Todd - French Horn; Billy Childs - Piano; David Carpenter, Chuck Domanico, John Clayton - Bass; Steve Huffsteter - Trumpet; Dan Higgins - Sax; Ralph Penland - Drums; Alan Estes - Vibes/Quiro; Lenny Castro - Congas; Michael Lang, Alan Pasqua - Piano; Tim May - Guitar; Bob Zimmitti - Vibes; Tommy Johnson - Tuba; David Raksin - Conductor; Frank Marocco - Accordion; Marcia Dickstein - Harp

Title: With a Twist | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: RCM

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