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Bebop Spoken There

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Monday, July 15, 2013

CD Review: Glenn Cashman's Southland Nonet - Music Without Borders

Carl Saunders, Ron Stout (tpt/flg); Andy Martin (tmb); Bruce Babad (alt); Glenn Cashman (ten/comp/arr); Bob Efford (bar); Ed Czach (pno); Luther Hughes (bs); Paul Kreibich (dms); Eric Fütterer (comp/arr)..
Don't let the title put you off - this is no pet shop fire! In fact I'm a little unclear what the title implies! Médicins Sans Frontières is said to be the inspiration Perhaps it means that music should be without borders? Fortunately, the compositions and arrangements of Glenn Cashman and Eric Fütterer are well within the borders of what I recognise as good jazz. 
In this case, as the recording took place in LA, a West Coast element overrides all. Not surprising as veteran west coaster Howard Rumsey acted as adviser to Cashman and  Fütterer when they organised their first jazz festival in the Muckenthaler Hall - known affectionately as "The Muck" - an amphitheatre donated to the community by the Muckenthaler family.. We need more such benefactors in these troubled times.
For obvious parochial reasons I'll start at the bottom - harmonically speaking - Bob Efford, former Ted Heath tenorist, long since Hollywood resident, blows some gutsy baritone on Carnaval. Good to know Bob is still lighting fires - by my reckoning he is now 85! He gets a second bite with his cadenza on Cadenza for Cadenas.
The other saxes, to use a Liz (one of our occasional reviewers) expression, blow their socks off and in so doing blow ours off too! This could be Miles' Birth of the Cool Band or the Mulligan Tentette 60 years on. Cashman is much more than a swinging tenor player - his arrangements and compositions are tops and co-composer arranger Fütterer is up there too. Cashman and Fütterer may not have the same ring as Ellington and Strayhorn but they're getting there.
The trumpets/flugels are well versed in the idiom. I'm not sure who solos on what but they both earn their Budweisser. Martin has some nice 'bone moments and Babad reminds us of the legacy the California scene left us with Art, Lee, Bud, two Sonny's and Herb -  and now Bruce.
A rhythm section to die for - you want egg roll as well?
Love it.
Lance.

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