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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.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

CD Review: Mark Masters Ensemble - Blue Skylight

Mark Masters (arranger); Gary Foster (alto); Jerry Pinter (tenor/soprano); Gene Cipriano (tenor); Adam Schroeder (baritone); Ed Czach (piano); Putter Smith (bass); Kendall Kay (drums). On some tracks, Ron Stout (trumpet); and Les Benedict (trombone) replace Cipriano and Schroeder on the Mingus pieces.
(Review by Lance).
An album devoted to the music of Mingus and Mulligan had my mouth watering and my ears in listening mode. With the added attraction of an Edward Hopper painting on the cover, I knew this one couldn't be bad.
It wasn't, it was seriously good!
Masters has captured the mood of both jazz legends without plagiarism and, with the help of some superb soloists, created a masterpiece - no pun intended.
Putter Smith's cv includes Blakey, Monk and Ellington. Cipriano's credits range from Henry Mancini to Frank Zappa with Miles and Gil in between. He also ghosted Tony Curtis' sax playing in the film Some Like it Hot! Gary Foster graduated via the big bands of Toshiko, Tabackin, Clare Fischer and Louis Bellson. Jerry Pinter played tenor with Woody Herman which is, in jazz terms, equivalent to wearing the Newcastle United number 9 shirt back in the day... 
The others may not have as many paper credits but, when it comes to putting up they aren't found wanting. Benedict's trombone is beautiful - Jimmy Knepper with the edges smoothed off except on Eclipse where he plays like 'Tricky Sam' Nanton. Schroeder provides Mulliganesque baritone and Stout is more Jon Eardley than Chet and even more himself! Czach and Kay combine with Smith for a solid rhythm section totally au fait with the leader's intent.
I know it's only February but, come December 31, this has got to be in the shake-up and the good news is that the release date on Capri Records is February 17 only 5 days away.
Listen here.
Lance.
Programme:
Mingus: Monk, Bunk and Vice Versa; So Long Eric; Peggy's Blue Skylight; Duke Ellington's Sound of Love; Eclipse. 
Mulligan: Out Back of the Barn; Wallflower; Strayhorn 2; Apple Core; Birds of a Feather; Motel

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