Tuesday, February 14, 2017

CD Review: Ken Schaphorst Big Band, "How To Say Goodbye"

There are not many great big band CDs being recorded today and that is a shame.  In my opinion, nothing beats the sounds of Jazz being performed by a big band of talented musicians.  I guess it's just too costly, and I imagine hard to get all the band members in a recording studio at the same time.  But when are able to get a group of great players in the studio together and have a superb composer and bandleader, the magic starts to happen.   Composer/Bandleader Ken Schaphorst, chair of the Jazz Studies Department at New England Conservatory has just released a wonderful big band CD, "How To Say Goodbye" and it is terrific.  This CD has everything a big band CD would need to be excellent: Schaphorst composed and arranged 10 beautiful pieces of music and selected seasoned pros to join him in this effort.  The result is a gift to Jazz lovers of a big band CD of outstanding musical quality.  There is a lot of good stuff on this CD but the Schaphorst tune, "Blues for Herb" really appealed to me.  This tune was composed as a tribute to Ken's friend influential Trumpeter and Educator Herb Pomeroy.  Schaphorst developed a long musical relationship with Pomeroy who was always supportive of Ken and his music.  This cut showcases some wonderful Tenor work by Donny McCaslin who was also a student of Pomeroy.

The Band:
Ken Schaphorst: Trumpet, Fender Rhodes
Michael Thomas: Alto and Soprano Sax, Clarinet
Jeremy Udden: Alto Sax
Donny McCaslin: Tenor Sax
Chris Cheek, Tenor Sax
Brian Landrus: Baritone Sax, Bass Clarinet
Tony Kadleck: Trumpet, Flugehorn
Dave Ballou: Trumpet, Flugehorn
John Carlson: Trumpet, Flugehorn
Ralph Allessi: Trumpet, Flugehorn
Luis Bonilla: Trombone
Jason Jackson: Trombone
Curtis Hasselbring: Trombone
Jennifer Wharton: Bass Trombone
Uri Caine: Piano
Brad Shepik: Guitar
Jay Anderson: Bass
Matt Wilson: Drums
Jerry Leake: Percussion

The Playlist:
1. "How to Say Goodbye"
2. "Blues for Herb"
3. "Mbira 1"
4. "Green City"
5. "Amnesia"
6. "Take Back the Country"
7. "Float"
8. " Mbira 2"
9. "Global Sweat"
10. "Descent"

I found a "Youtube" of this cut and have attached it below for your review.


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