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Renowned multi-talented reedman DENIS DiBLASIO directs the Jazz Program at Rowan University. "DiBlasio's early heroes were all artists who knew how to have fun with the music: Ella Fitzgerald, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie. DiBlasio worked with Maynard Ferguson for five years..." (JazzTimes). He made the Downbeat Magazine baritone saxophone poll (yet again) in Dec. 2012; "View from Pikes" ("...one of his best" - Philadelphia Inquirer) was followed-up by a 2-CD project: Disc 1, a duo Bucky Pizzarelli salute with guitarist Brian Betz, while Disc 2 added tenor saxophonist Gerry DeLoach, bass and drums for a maniacal, joyful set of three originals and five classic standards captured live at Philly's Chris' Jazz Cafe' on May 19, 2007.  Denis DiBlasio's latest new release continues from the previous Disc 1 concept, again a duo recording with guitarist Brian Betz, who this time around displays his rich acoustic guitar with DiBlasio exclusively on flute in an eight-tune program of all-original compositions:  "Crawlin Daddy-O's" / "Baby Bree" / "Jackson Square" / "Colorado" / "In Pieces" / "Midnite Trapeze" / "Matiga Go Gundo-Ra" / "Fallingwater"


Another recent sonically adventurous outing pairs him with trombonist extraordinaire Jim McFalls (and usual suspects Steve Varner, bass; Jim Miller, drums) for "the Chordless Project," "Caravan."
"Rapid Transit" / "Jingle Bells" / "Caravan" / "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" / "I Love You" / "Joe's Vacation" / "Sugar Buzz"

"Caravan features seven live recordings from the quartet of Denis DiBlasio on baritone sax and flute, trombonist Jim McFalls, bassist Steve Varner, and drummer Jim Miller. As the title The Chordless Project suggests, there are no chordal instruments on the album, and the harmony is primarily derived from Varner's walking bass lines and the horn writing. The tracks presented include three originals, two jazz standards, and two utterly unexpected pieces from the public domain.
Of the originals, 'Joe's Vacation' is the most striking, juxtaposing a Caribbean rhythmic feel with a boogie-esque bass line, laying the foundations for fine soloing by McFalls and DiBlasio. 'Sugar Buzz' is written in a very different vein, essentially an up-tempo bop tune highlighted by Miller's drum solo and DiBlasio's scat singing—which, it seems, could only result from a severe sugar buzz.
The interpretations of 'Jingle Bells' and 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again,' both a bit of a surprise to find on a modern jazz album, bring an unforeseen depth and charm to both tunes. The band finds subtleties of rhythm and harmony, transforming both pieces into fine vehicles for sophisticated improvisation.
Juan Tizol's 'Caravan' features intriguing interplay between ostinato flute figures and the trombone melody. DiBlasio's flute solos are no less impressive than his sax playing, and the timbre of the flute nicely melds with the atmosphere of the tune.
DiBlasio and McFalls deliver with The Chordless Project. The instrumentation and arrangements are done masterfully, and at no point is the piano missed. In fact, the limitations the players placed on themselves harmonically allowed the derivation of subtle sonic pleasures from even the most familiar and unlikely tunes."
- All About Jazz

"...(S)eeking simple pleasures within a stripped-down setting is former Maynard Ferguson musical director, flutist DENIS DiBLASIO, in the company of guitarist BRIAN BETZ. The DENIS DiBLASIO/BRIAN BETZ PROJECT is a congenial, breezy affair in eight parts that matches DiBlasio’s fluid flute work with Betz’ steel-stringed guitar. Sticking with his flute on this outing, as opposed to his customary baritone saxophone, DiBlasio mostly takes the lead with Betz supplying both rhythmic support and counterpoint throughout. These straightforward duets contain spunky, pliant movements like 'Crawlin’ Daddy-O’s' or 'Jackson Square,' as well as the delightful 'Midnite Trapeze' and the playful 'Matiga Go Gundo-Ra.' The duo also is reflective, with such tasty melodies as 'Baby Bree' and the picturesque 'Colorado' working well alongside the refreshing guitar-centric 'Fallingwater.' Also worth highlighting is the somber 'In Pieces,' the melancholic reflection on DiBlasio’s father’s fight with Alzheimer’s. Like the preceding couple of discs, this is a satisfying affair focused on making each note count."
- Cadence


"When I saw the words 'The Chordless Project,' I was initially worried—I find chord sequences oddly reassuring in improvisation—but I need have had no anxiety. This project harks back to the pianoless quartet co-led by Gerry Mulligan and Bob Brookmeyer, but it has a more assertive nature. Many tribute CDs hew very closely to the original intent and repertoire: I imagine co-leaders DiBlasio and McFalls having a good time playing together—rousing, dense improvisations on everything from 'I Got Rhythm' changes to 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home' into a left-handed, delicate 'Jingle Bells' to two originals.   Although both horns can charge into a unison line, they are also capable of pensive delicacy and lightness. For a quartet, they get a delightful amount of variety from track to track—not only in repertoire, but in tempo, volume, and approach—including Di Blasio’s fire-eating scat singing and his Kirk-inspired flute playing. Miller and Varner fit right in—on the calypso 'Joe’s Vacation' and the very fast concluding Blues...I understood perfectly why the live audience applauded fervently at the end of each song."

- Cadence

"The leaders take two risks that shouldn't be tried at home: They go piano-less, without a chord-giving instrument, and they play some tunes so moldy that they risk derision.
...Denis DiBlasio pulls off stunts like this all the time and makes them work...as tonally adroit as he is amusing, and both skills are on play in this live set.
His foil, trombonist Jim McFalls, a 17-year veteran of the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors, is no slouch either...turning the calypso-like 'Joe's Vacation' into a brassy, barnyard slugfest.
...(T)his motoring quartet...find(s) unheard sonorities in 'Jingle Bells' and 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home.'
The kicker of 'Rapid Transit' comes when DiBlasio and McFalls, in the midst of a wide-ranging duet solo, meet up on the melody of 'Jesus Christ Superstar.' Now that's groovin' high."
- Philadelphia Inquirer


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    Personnel: Brian Betz, guitar; Gerry DeLoach, tenor saxophone; Steve Varner, bass; Jim Miller, drums.

    CD1: "That's All" / "Yes In Deedy" (take 1) / "I'll Never Be the Same" / "Bob-ba-Lou" / "If You Never Come to Me" / "Mood Indigo" / "I Want to Be Happy" / "Silent Night" / "All of You" / "No More Blues" / "Sophisticated Lady" / "Yes In Deedy" (take 2)
    CD2: "Razor Sharp" / "Good Bait" / "Solar" / "What Is This Thing Called Love" / "Where to Now?" / "Wormburner" / "Softly As In a Morning Sunrise" / "Billie's Bounce"

    Watch Videos of this performance now! ("Razor Sharp")


    Personnel: Jim Ridl, piano; Steve Varner, acoustic bass.

    "The Days of Wine and Roses" / "Aria" / "Pacific Ride" / "View from Pikes" / "Tear Up an Anvil in an Open Field" / "Abbraccio" / "He Owns the Place" / "A New Kind of Tired" / "Whereyabin" / "Tenderly"


    What the critics say:

    "This brash duet recording finds two pros hanging out on new turf. Denis DiBlasio is perhaps better known as baritone saxophonist, but...holds forth on flute with fellow Rowan faculty member Brian Betz on acoustic guitar.
    The eight originals - six by DiBlasio - create their own worlds. Sometimes it's a sassy and bluesy groove, as on DiBlasio's 'Jackson Square.' Other times, it's a more mellow vibe, as on Betz's winsome 'Baby Bree.'
    DiBlasio and Betz are pretty expressive in either mode, and they reach high. DiBlasio's haunting 'In Pieces' is dedicated to his father's long struggle with Alzheimer's."
    - Philadelphia Inquirer

    "...(T)heir aesthetic credentials are impeccable: anyone who dedicates a CD to the octogenarian master Bucky Pizzarelli gets my approval. DiBlasio and Betz create lilting melodies, swing effortlessly, let their creations breathe. Technicially assured, they never overwhelm listeners with notes. DiBlasio plays the baritone saxophone as if were pocket-sized, with an easy lightness. His work on 'That’s All' reminded me of Zoot Sims; it has the same indefatigable rhythmic engine. His samba-flavored 'Sophisticated Lady' was respectful but innovative. And his flute work on five tracks is delightful, because he avoids clichés. The first thing to praise about Betz is his lovely sound - I could enjoy hearing him play the notes as written, and he, too, has a singular rhythmic drive. His introduction to 'I’ll Never Be the Same' is fulfilling in itself, and he could easily support a large group on his own. In this duo, two voices combine to make something far larger than themselves.
    The second CD, recorded live at Chris’ Jazz Café, adds notable players (melodic bassist Varner shines on 'Solar') in front of a well-behaved, clearly appreciative audience, showing how nicely DiBlasio and Betz fit into a more straight-ahead Jazz combo, with fine work from tenorist DeLoach (DiBlasio’s equal at constructing logical yet twisting lines) and the concise, crackling drummer Miller."
    - Cadence

    "This swinging double CD shows off two sides of a generation-bridging collaboration. The first disc balances euphoric burners with earnest ballads as DiBlasio, former musical director of the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra, weaves delightful melodies on baritone saxophone and flute, dancing around his young protege's chunky guitar rhythms and nimble solos...when the larger group clicks, as in the red-hot 'Wormburner,' it's an electric blowing session that almost matches the first half's more subtle charms."
    - JazzTimes

    "...Needless to say, DeLoach and Diblasio’s interplay is consistent and hard-bopping at all times. The rhythm section of Betz, Varner and Miller hold firm on a series of blistering tempos - not for the meek.
    'What Is This Thing Called Love' is likely the most telling track of this whole CD. Denis DiBlasio and Gerry DeLoach bob hard and fast in a fury of notes climaxing in an old-school tenor (albeit tenor and baritone) battle of years gone by. DeLoach’s haunting and pensive ballad 'Where To Now?' remains the only departure from some textbook bebop playing demonstrated by all at Chris’ Jazz Café that evening.
    Having witnessed more music-per-pound on disk two than I bargained for, my ears were ready for a ballad. I was not disappointed by DiBlasio and Betz on the first duo disk either. Although it is unwise to compare studio and live recordings, here it is striking to note the different approach between quintet and duo. Betz’ guitar provides the perfect orchestration for this less-familiar side of DiBlasio. When he bops hard on the baritone there is great resonance and edge to his sound. DiBlasio’s baritone sax here is mellow and tender. Shades of Mulligan creep in here and there until he barks out a low note or two reminding the listener that he can go into overdrive at anytime. The more-familiar sound of flute and guitar are highlighted on two separate takes of 'Yes In Deedy,' dedicated to Philadelphian Harrison Ridley, Jr. Lastly, what guitar and flute duo would be complete without a Jobim tune? The duo plays a noteworthy tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim on 'No More Blues.'
    Denis DiBlasio has long been known for his hard-edged baritone, scat vocals and solo flute demonstrations on the college circuit. He is a mainstay in music education in New Jersey and across the US. It is a pleasure to hear him side-by-side with colleagues and former students - laying it down!"
    - SaxShed.com

    "The first CD, a duet recording with Betz, features a cross-section of standards and originals. DiBlasio is a terrific player, capable of capturing energy bolts and exuding great lightness of being. 'Yes In Deedy' pays tribute to WRTI's longtime jazz DJ Harrison Ridley Jr., while a couple of Ellington standards, 'Mood Indigo' and 'Sophisticated Lady,' underscore DiBlasio's big band links and show Betz in a pleasant light.
    ...(T)hen it's time for DiBlasio's quartet...live at Chris' Jazz Cafe, the quartet is a barn burner, full of energetic soloing and harmonic derring-do. Maynard would be proud."
    - Philadelphia Inquirer

    "...DiBlasio’s 'View from Pikes' proves once again that his distinctive style both on baritone sax and flute is not only technically astounding, as proven by his jaw-dropping performance on 'Tear Up an Anvil in an Open Field,' but also richly appealing whether on ballads like 'Tenderly' or his interpretation of Eugene Bozza’s flowing 'Aria.'
    So confident is DiBlasio in the rhythmic abilities of his accompanists that he plays without drums. That’s as it should be. Jim Ridl has proven again and again to be eminently adaptable to any musical situation. And he proves it yet again. Whether he lays down the cushion of feathery treble-clef chords leading into the impressionistic 'View from Pikes' or whether he plays in unison with DiBlasio’s flute the jumping blues line of 'Whereyabin,' Ridl handles the difficult feat of back-up and rhythmic foundation with assured professionalism. More than that, DiBlasio and Ridl feed ideas to one another, a fact that is unmistakably evident on 'Whereyabin' as they trade fours and pick up one another’s phrases. Bassist Steve Varner holds everything together with firmness and a confident feel for the music. Varner's loping phrases on 'A New Kind of Tired' set the mood for the piece, and his walking lines underlying the melody forcefully anticipate the beat on 'Pacific Ride.'
    But listen to how cleverly and logically DiBlasio develops his solo on 'Pacific Ride' as he employs the entire range of the baritone sax - -jabbing here, descending through turns and mordants, growling and wailing, always keeping the sense of swing inherent in his music. On 'Abbraccio,' DiBlasio uses delicacy rather than force to attract the listener’s attention.
    Two standards, 'The Days of Wine and Roses' and 'Tenderly,' bookend the CD, wrapping the music contained with familiarity. The trio eases into the songs with professionals’ attention to the saxophone’s tone, the piano’s touch and the bass’s pull. This is a trio of musicians who obviously have performed together often, and the result is recommended listening."
    - jazz review.com

    "...In addition to possessing strong chops on baritone and flute, he's also an accomplished scat-singer. His approach on his main ax is closer in kin to Mulligan with an airy, rounded tone and a general avoidance of the horn's more guttural, brazen qualities. Pianist Jim Ridl joins bassist Steve Varner in supplying active, yet supple, support. Ridl's long-standing partnership with the leader comes through in a lithe two-handed style that makes use of the entire keyboard. His comping on the opening 'Days of Wine and Roses' is the first in a series of gorgeously calibrated contributions.
    Varner's nimble fingerings alternate from walking patterns to intricate improvisations and the resonant properties of his strings come through beautifully in the mix. As for the fare, it's predominately from DiBlasio's songbook with the aforementioned standard and two others, including a ravishing rendering of 'Tenderly,' nodding knowingly toward Jazz tradition. Three of the originals carry personal dedications and parts exude the feel of a love poem to a spouse, particularly the verdant 'Aria' where DiBlasio channels a Websterian rasp through his reed and piles on palpable romance. 'Pacific Ride' traffics in elastic swing with Varner laying down a trotting groove and Ridl spinning off harmonic asides. The leader constructs a rhythm-rich solo along the scenic route plied by his partners and the piece wraps up modestly in under six minutes. Enigmatic in title, 'Tear Up an Anvil in an Open Field' also contains some of the hardest swinging of the entire session with DiBlasio hardening his sound and attack and charging joyously through a folkish set of changes. The title piece and this are features for DiBlasio's flute, feathery and tonally contrastive to his big horn, but no less effective in communicating earnest emotion. As a mainstream baritone-fronted date with an accessible twist, this disc hits the spot and shows the leader as a player well deserving of wider recognition."
    - Cadence

    "...(It's) so good for what it does that it deserves attention. View from Pikes provides consistent listening pleasure from start to finish. The absence of drums actually facilitates the sweet, laidback playing of the Denis DiBlasio/Steve Varner/Jim Ridl trio, which maintains the pulse quite well...In this CD, he honors the "cool" traditions of baritone saxophonists Pepper Adams and Gerry Mulligan as he leads a musical tour of moods and perspectives evoked by a couple of standards and a bunch of originals that lope along in a relaxed manner.
    The one rapid-fire track, 'Tear Up an Anvil in An Open Field,' jumps and sparks in the open field of a drum-less trio, making its title an apt metaphor for a tune that is a cross between a jazzed up Irish jig and boogie woogie; a number that would have pleased Mulligan, who frequently spiced up his music with humor.
    Since there are no liner notes...the album title, View from Pikes, remains something of a mystery. While it undoubtedly refers to Pikes Peak in Colorado, it must have had a personal meaning for DiBlasio, as reflected in the title tune as well as other song titles that suggest a hard-working settler there, such as the aforementioned 'Tear up an Anvil,' 'He Owns the Place' and 'A New Kind of Tired.' Stretching the metaphor, and, seeing that Pikes Peak is almost half way between L.A. and New York, the playing melds East and West Coast sounds and styles.
    All three musicians have done time in Philadelphia, which is noted for its stable of excellent, dedicated musicians, some of whom, like Ridl, have used the City of Brotherly Love as a home base for careers elsewhere (but keep coming back on occasion), and some of whom, like the great tenor saxophonist Larry McKenna, take up lifetime residence here and whose influence on DiBlasio is unmistakable. Varner, heard around Philly in numerous contexts, is a top of the line bassist who, in this CD, artfully sustains the light rhythmic pulse throughout. Ridl, a truly amazing pianist with enormous creativity and grasp of the idioms that comprise jazz, is a perfect accompanist for DiBlasio, and his solos have their own inner beauty and structure, adding to the CD's interest; one of those special items - juicy, easy-going, and flowing - that bears repeated listening. "
    - AllAboutJazz.com

    "DiBlasio’s intimately lyrical...
    Exposing the baritone sax as a single horn in an acoustic trio doesn’t happen very often...and Denis DiBlasio ups the ante on View from Pikes by going drumless, with just pianist Jim Ridl and bassist Steve Varner, recalling Jimmy Giuffre’s trios of a half-century ago. Although there are tracks here where DiBlasio evokes the jaunty rumble of the baritone sax in tandem with punchy rhythms, slow tempos where he exploits the tough-tender corduroy tone of the baritone prevail, with DiBlasio weaving smooth, fluent and nimble lines on two standards: a stroll through 'Days of Wine and Roses' and a languorous bath in 'Tenderly.' His own ballads are lyric sonatas, close to elegiac in tone, including one where he plays flute. Ridl adds substantially to the deeply lyrical feel of the ballads and playful swing of the uptempos."
    - AllAboutJazz.com

    "...DiBlasio is at his most simpatico here.
    ...a gentle oasis of a set...on a session of mostly originals, he's mellow and often focused on pulchritude.
    Ridl's intro on the title track is pretty gorgeous, and DiBlasio's flute makes the view come closer.
    DiBlasio...shows grace, too, as a composer. 'Whereyabin' exudes a nervous energy, while 'Tear Up an Anvil in an Open Field' is a barn-burner of a tune that invites the leader to gurgle pleasantly on the baritone. DiBlasio also gives the standard 'Tenderly' some serious ballad feel. This ranks as one of his best recordings."
    - Philadelphia Inquirer


    PLEASE NOTE: Denis DiBlasio's previous releases featuring pianist Jim Ridl, Thelonious Monk Bass Competition First-Place Winner Darryl Hall and and guest vocalist Suzanne Cloud on "Tell Me A Story" ("a gem waiting to be discovered by a wider audience" - Jazz News) are sold out. But...you can still download "RHINO," "REFLECTIONS OF CHILDHOOD/DUETS," "PERPETUAL BAGGAGE CLAIM," and "LIVE" Tribute to Buddy Rich" (individual tunes or entire CDs) in MP3 format!
    eMu

    "COLLABORATION" w/ the Rowan University Lab Band; Denis DiBlasio, director (EAR-1073)

    CD cover art

    Denis DiBlasio directs the Rowan Univertsity Lab Band through one of his originals, seven of his arrangements (of Ray Noble, Jobim, James Moody, Freddie Hubbard, Vince Guaraldi and Miles Davis classics), and four other originals by George Genna, Nick Fernandez and Ed Vezinho.


    Personnel: (Soloists) Behn Gillece (vibes), Johanthan Barnes (trumpet), Pam Levecchia (bassoon & contra bassoon), Adrian Nikolika (piano), Dave Lackner (alto sax), Owen Sczerba (baritone sax), Alison Mersiowsky (bass flute & flute), Chris Arter (guitar), George Rabbai (trumpet), Kara Milici (tenor sax), Maeve Royce (bass & cello), Nick Fernandez (flugelhorn), Jim Rattigan (French horn), Bradley Chwastyk (euphonium), Dr. Robert Rawlins (alto sax), Chis Pastin (drums), Doug Mapp (bass).

    "Cherokee" / "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars" / "Capriole" / "Jackson Square" / "I Doug Where the Mapp Said 'X'" / "Joe Beam" / "Dizzy" / "Little Sunflower" / "Linus and Lucy" / "Walkin' In the Rain" / "Dig" / "All Blues"

    What the critics say:

    "Whether composing, arranging or directing the RULB, DiBlasio does things his way...instead of envisioning a conventional big band and filling the chairs with warm bodies, he seeks out students who really want to play in a band and builds the ensemble around them...It's a melange that works exceedingly well, thanks to a well-constructed program, perceptive charts by DiBlasio (eight) and clever compositions/arrangements...The band, skillfully driven by drummer Chris Pastin, is splendid throughout, and there are a number of resourceful solos, especially by Pastin ('Dig'), flautist Allison Mersiowsky, vibist Behn Gillece and bassoonist Pam Levecchia (featured on 'Quiet Nights'). DiBlasio, a superb baritone saxophonist, resists the urge to sit in, but other faculty members do have their say - trumpeter George Rabbai, alto saxophonist and music department chairman Robert Rawlins and bassist Doug Mapp. 'All Blues,' the lone selection recorded in concert, and 'Little Sunflower' include guest appearances by Jim Rattigan, an acclaimed French horn player with the London Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestras. If you appreciate a hard-hitting ensemble that swings from a slightly off-center stance, this is your ticket."
    - Cadence

    "Rowan University's Lab Band is unlike most other college-level ensembles, thanks to director Denis DiBlasio's unusual approach to putting a band together. Rather than starting with 'this is what we need' and filling the requisite chairs with warm bodies, DiBlasio enlists talented musicians who are truly interested in being part of a jazz ensemble and builds around them. So instead of the customary five-four-five brass and reeds plus rhythm section, the RULB consists of two trumpets, three saxophones and rhythm, reinforced by euphonium, French horn, bassoon, flute, piccolo, vibes and percussion, and DiBlasio shrewdly consolidates of every one of those components on the band's impressive second album, 'Collaboration.'
    DiBlasio makes certain he has superb charts to work with including eight of his own and luminous compositions by trumpeter Nick Fernandez, George Genna ('Capriole') and professor of jazz composition/arranging Ed Vezinho, co-leader of the blue-chip Vezinho/Ward Big Band ('Joe Beam'). Everything was recorded in a studio except for the finale, Miles Davis' minor classic 'All Blues,' arranged by DiBlasio and featuring cellist Maeve Royce, professor of jazz bass Doug Mapp and guest French horn soloist Jim Rattigan, whose other employers have included the London Philharmonic and London Symphony orchestras. Rattigan also solos on DiBlasio's burnished treatment of Freddie Hubbard's 'Little Sunflower.'
    The album opens with dazzling arrangements by DiBlasio of Ray Noble's venerable 'Cherokee' and Antonio Carlos Jobim's 'Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars...' Gillece solos crisply on the bossa 'Joe Beam' and 'Rain,' the last of which also includes Bradley Chwastyk's gentle euphonium solo, while professor of trumpet George Rabbai adds his singular voice to that of Lackner...
    There are three more charts by DiBlasio, each one a gem: Vince Guaraldi's 'Linus and Lucy,' James Moody's 'Dizzy' and another composition by Miles, 'Dig,' spotlighting the incisive alto saxophone of Dr. Robert Rawlins, who not only chairs Rowan's music department but also wrote the informative liner notes.
    While the instrumentation may be slightly unorthodox, DiBlasio has certainly made the most of what he has, and 'Collaboration' is an especially appropriate name for the RULB's admirable second album."
    - All About Jazz.com (1)

    "How many records in your collection feature a song with a contra bassoon trading solos with a bass flute, bari sax and a wailing electric guitar? The song is 'Jackson Square,' the group: The Rowan University Lab Band on 'Collaboration.'
    The playing here is consistently top notch, and the arrangements (mostly by multiple reedman Denis DiBlasio, Director of Jazz Studies at Rowan) weave the textures and brush the odd combinations of colors with a deftness and sparkle that rival the sounds on any big band set out there. Freddie Hubbard's 'Little Sunflower' features perhaps the prettiest arrangement on the disc, a mix of light (flute) and dark (French horn, flugelhorn) colorations in front of rich harmonies. Jobim's 'Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars,' with its beautiful, smooth, woody bassoon solo stands out as well.
    'Capriole,' composed and arranged by George Genna, Professor of Jazz Piano, reminds me of a cool (post 'Birth of the...') workout, with its back-and-forth baritone sax/alto sax conversations. And I can't say enough about the inclusion of the vibraphone (played by Behn Gillece) here. As on Dave Holland's recent work, the vibes give the collaborative sound on 'Collaboration' a beautiful luminescent undertone.
    Miles Davis' 'All Blues' closes the show, a phenomenal live version with dark blue solos by Maeve Royce on cello and Jim Rattigan on French horn. It's a gorgeous, deep indigo take on the classic tune.
    An excellent set! Seasoned professionals these may not be, but wonderfully talented musicians they most definitely are. 'Collaboration' can sit on the shelf and alongside (and play on the stereo before, after or in between) the best big band sounds out there."
    - All About Jazz.com (2)



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