Jazz CD Reviews
Bob Mintzer Big Band – Swing Out – MCG Jazz
Published on September 17, 2009
Bob Mintzer Big Band – Swing Out – MCG Jazz – MCGJ 1030, 63:54 ***:
(Artists include: Bob Mintzer, tenor sax & flute; Peter Yellin, alto sax & flute; Bob Malach, tenor sax & clarinet; Scott Wendholt, trumpet; Frank Greene, trumpet; Jim Rotondi, trumpet; Phil Markowitz, piano; Jay Anderson, bass; John Riley, drums)
As well as being part of the contemporary jazz band The Yellowjackets, Bob Mintzer has led big band recording sessions for at least six CDs. Bob plays tenor sax and flute on his new Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (who donate a portion of their sales to preserve, present and promote jazz) CD, Swing Out. Bob also wrote all but three of the compositions on this CD and did all the arrangements. Solos are spread out liberally, with Mintzer and pianist Phil Markowitz, however, getting the lions’ share.
Mintzer has firm command of the tenor as evidenced on the title track. Jim Rotondi, from One for All, also has a warm solo on this track, and Phil Markowitz shines during his choruses. Scott Wendholt, a vastly underrated trumpeter, is the featured soloist on Something Else, Swangalang, and Freedom Song.
Each Day provides Bob Malach room to swing, and Keith O’Quinn (a new name to me), blows a mean trombone here as well. Minuano, written by Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, and Kurt Elling, is the one vocal track, and Elling makes the most of his big band moment.
The other non-Mintzer compositions are the Arlen/Mercer standard My Shining Hour, where the ensemble horns back trombonist Michael Davis, and Someday My Prince Will Come, which was made most famous by Miles Davis. Bob Milikan gets trumpet duties on this track, and Mintzer again shows he is in charge with his tenor solo.
Swing Out breaks no new ground, but in this tight economic market with few new big band releases, Mintzer’s CD is pleasant listening, with good arrangements and a well- prepared big band.
TrackList: Swing Out, Each Day, Something Else, Swangalang, Beyond the Limit, Minuano, My Shining Hour, Freedom Song, Someday My Prince Will Come
– Jeff Krow