Jazz

These are just a few of the jazz albums that I enjoy listening to. Although I appreciate improvisation, I tend to listen to recordings that feature great ensemble playing in addition to the solos. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or suggestions.

Spirit of the HornSpirit of the Horn
Slide Hampton, Bill Watrous, et al

"[Spirit] numbers 12 trombonists (4 play bass trombone) in addition to Hampton and featured soloist Bill Watrous. What's more striking than sheer numbers, though, is the orchestral quality of the massed horns, the extraordinarily warm, clear, carpet of sound that Hampton develops in his arrangements."

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EpistrophyEpistrophy
Matt Niess and the Capitol Bones

The Capitol Bones are made up of D.C. area trombonists and rhythm players, many of whom are in military bands. Matt Niess leads this ultra-talented group, and does so with a brilliant lead trombone sound. The highlight of the disc is the warm and rich Touch Her Soft Lips and Part, arranged by the group's pianist, Tony Nalker.

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Sinatra at the SandsSinatra at the Sands
Frank Sinatra with Count Basie & the Orchestra, Quincy Jones

"This priceless document (Sinatra's first official live album) captures the Chairman of the Board in performance mode, ably supported by conductor-arranger Quincy Jones and Count Basie and his Orchestra. The set list comprises 16 Sinatra classics--including "Come Fly with Me," "One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)," "It Was a Very Good Year," and "Angel Eyes"--along with two Basie instrumentals and some seriously un-P.C. stage banter."

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Music of Pat Metheny & Lyle MaysMusic of Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays
Bob Curnow's L.A. Big Band

"Bob Curnow is a veteran of the Stan Kenton Orchestra, and part of his avowed intention here is to set some of the Metheny and Mays compositions within the Kenton style. It's an arresting project, and Curnow has successfully reconceived the Metheny work."

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Porgy & BessMiles Ahead
Miles Davis

"These 1957 recordings were the first of Miles Davis's collaborations with arranger Gil Evans for Columbia, renewing a relationship that had begun with the Birth of the Cool sessions in 1949. It was perhaps the most important relationship ever forged between a jazz soloist and an arranger, for Evans excelled at finding fresh material and then adding subtle voicings and blending unusual instruments to highlight Davis's central voice."

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Sketches of SpainSketches of Spain
Miles Davis

"Sketches of Spain, with its emphasis on flamenco, rich orchestrations, and relaxed tempos, is certainly one of Davis's most mellow recordings (he even works out on fluegelhorn), and proved to have broad appeal. To some critics, however, the project was 'elevated elevator music.'"

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Porgy & BessPorgy & Bess
Miles Davis

"Take George Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, add Miles Davis and arranger Gil Evans, and what do you get? A classic jazz album that still sounds remarkably fresh four decades after its initial release. Miles' soft yet piercing trumpet style is perfectly suited to Gershwin's melancholy melodies, Evans' musical direction of his 18-piece orchestra is impeccable, and their version of "Summertime" may well be the finest ever waxed."

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World of TrombonesWorld of Trombones
Slide Hampton, et al

I've had the pleasure to work with Slide Hampton on two occasions. Just recently, he told me that he plays on a straight bass trombone in order to get the sound that has been in his head for so many years. In addition to being a world class performer and arranger, he is a genuinely nice man.

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Brass OrchestraBrass Orchestra
J.J. Johnson, et al

This disc features J.J. Johnson arrangements and a who's who of brass players, including: Jon Faddis, Lew Soloff, Byron Stripling, John Clark, Robin Eubanks, Jim Pugh, Steve Turré, Dave Taylor, Doug Purviance, Joe Alessi, and Howard Johnson.

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BonetownBonetown
Michael Davis, Bill Reichenbach

This diverse album features many styles - from Latin to swing to fusion. Davis and Reichenbach pay tribute to J.J. and Kai with the opening track - H, I, Jay and Kai. Perhaps the most impressive track is the Trombone Institute of Technology, a reference to Eastman, the alma mater of both players.

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Jazz Meets Weill and GershwinJazz Meets Weill and Gershwin

Daniel Schnyder's Bass Trombone Sonata is performed by Dave Taylor on this latest CD by the composer. Schnyder says this of the piece: "It is a challenging, jazz influenced virtuoso piece structured in three movements."

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In the Spur of the MomentIn the Spur of the Moment
Steve Turré

"The typical jazz approach is not for Turré. Nope, this dude has a concept. Using three piano-based quartets for In the Spur of the Moment, Turré touches on trad, postbop, and Afro Cuban jazz amalgams."

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New Concepts of Artistry in RhythmNew Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm
Stan Kenton

"Band leader/pianist Stan Kenton is known for his superheated, shouting brass sections and eccentric conceptualizations for big bands, and this 1952 recording shows why. The set opens with "Prologue (This Is an Orchestra!)," in which Kenton delivers a spoken-word explanation of the unit's purpose and introduces the members to the listener."

This disc features George Roberts on bass trombone.

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More Money JungleMore Money Jungle
Rhythm & Brass

"Few collections allow themselves the variety of interpretations invited by the original Duke Ellington-Charles Mingus-Max Roach Money Jungle trio session. With a flush of five horns and a drummer, Rhythm & Brass have a great platform for these Ellington gems, only a few of which were originals on the Money Jungle session. That leaves the pre-1940s Ellington canon for R&B to whip into a brassy froth."

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Tutti's TrombonesTutti's Trombones

This album features: Dick Nash, Tommy Pedersen, Frank Rosolino, Kenny Shroyer, Ernie Tack, Lloyd Ulyate, Tommy Pederson, Joe Howard, Hoyt Bohannon, Gilbert Falco, and Herbie Harper. I first heard this recording when I was 14. Kenny Shroyer's performance of the Pink Panther Theme influenced my sound concept a great deal.

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