Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Kurt Rosenwinkel: "My idea of the perfect vacation is to just stay at home." - (DownBeat July 2020).

Dave Rempis:Ten years from now, I can see musicians streaming concerts in real time and charging a minimal amount for people to watch.” - (DownBeat September 2013)

Archive.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

Postage

11,626 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 761 of them this year alone and, so far, 25 this month (July 6).

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, July 27, 2012

CD Review: Ellington Saxophone Encounters. Mark Masters' Ensemble

Gary Foster, Don Shelton (alt/clt); Gene Cipriano, Pete Christlieb (ten); Gary Smulyan (bar); Bill Cunliffe (pno); Tom Warrington (bs); John La Barbera (dms).
(Review by Lance).
The idea was to take compositions by five of Ellington's major sax players - Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Ben Webster, Jimmy Hamilton and Harry Carney and arrange them for a sax section comprising of five of today's leading players. The result, to put it mildly, is sensational!
The opening Esquire Swank (Hodges/Ellington) hit me right between the eyes! What a sax section sound and what solos! Down Beat Poll Winner Smulyan who co-lead the project with arranger/composer Mark Masters opens up the batting with a blistering, yet melodic, baritone solo with Christlieb on tenor stripping a bit more paint from the ceiling! In between, Cuncliffe plays some Ducal piano and the bar had been set for what was to follow.
With the exception of Rockin' in Rhythm and Jeeps Blues, this isn't the normal well-used Ellington fare but instead a choice selection by the above mentioned sidemen.
Smulyan is heavily featured in the Harry Carney role bringing a feeling of modernity to the veteran anchorman's work. We're in Love Again is a particularly sumptuous rendition and, surprisingly, Hodges' Jeeps Blues is also a baritone feature - it works beautifully. 
Christlieb is a monster of a tenor player covering both Webster and Gonsalves with authority and originality as does Cipriano who comes across as having a definite affinity to Gonsalves particularly on Peaches (Hodges).. Foster blows cool sounding alto that blends well and Shelton's clarinet echoes Jimmy Hamilton without cloning.
The saxes may have got the gold medals but listen to Bill Cunliffe's piano - like Duke - an inspiration throughout
And of course the whole thing couldn't have worked without Mark Masters' arrangements and his, pardon the pun, masterly direction of the ensemble.
The rhythm section is worthy of any Ellington Orchestra and, although it is barely August, I think this will be well in the running for my record of the year.
Ellington Saxophone Encounters by Mark Masters Ensemble. The American Jazz Institute/Capri Records. Release date August 21, 2012.
Lance.

2 comments :

Russell said...

I've got to hear this one.

Steve Owen said...

This looks brilliant, can't wait to hear this

Blog Archive