August CD of the Month | Bob Mintzer "All L.A. Big Band"

Aug 23, 2016

 

Credit Fuzzy Music

Saxophonist Bob Mintzer is best known as a member of the Yellowjackets, rightfully so as he has been with the popular group for over 20 years. Mintzer has also led his own big band as well since about 1985.

Before becoming a leader he played with the aggregations of Buddy Rich, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis and Tito Puente among several others. Bob hails from New Rochelle, NY just north of New York City and was bitten by the music bug as an adolescent, while attending New Rochelle High School he saw a performance by the legendary Jazz Mobile roving stage under the direction of Dr Billy Taylor, that sealed his goal to become a jazz musician. Encouraged by his parents, he enrolled at Michigan's Interlochen Arts Academy followed by studies at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT and the Manhattan School of Music in NYC. Bob began his professional career in the mid-70s. Mintzer is also a highly respected music educator of the highest caliber, he has written over 20 books used in music classrooms around the globe. In 2008 he and his family relocated to Southern California when Bob became a recipient of the Buzz McCoy endowed chair of jazz studies at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles.   For his latest big band recording, Mr. Mintzer teamed up with drummer Peter Erskine to produce the All L.A. Big Band CD out on Erskine's very own Fuzzy Music label. Like Bob, Peter attended Interlochen Arts Academy where they met and established their close friendship, moreover, Peter is also an esteemed educator and book writer. As the title indicates, all of the talented musicians on this project are based out of Los Angeles, some of the stand outs include Wayne Bergereon-trumpet, Bob McChesney-trombone, Bob Sheppard-sax, and Russ Ferrante-piano just to name several. The swingin' playlist includes Afro-Cuban, mainstream, and some funky songs all jammed packed with excellent musicianship, captivating charts and a whole lot of swing! An innovating feature of this recording is that one can go to the Apple APP store and download a play-along APP for each instrument, what a novel idea! Add it all up and this should motivate you to get this CD into your player faster than the driving speed on a traffic-less L.A freeway.