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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Bob Mintzer – All L.A. Band

Bob Mintzer (leader, tenor saxophone); Wayne Bergeron, James Blackwell, John Thomas, Chad Willis, Michael Stever (trumpets); Bob Shepard, Adam Schroeder (saxophones); Bob McChesney, Erik Hughes, Julianne Gralle: (trombones); Craig Gosnell (bass trombone); Russ Ferrante (piano); Larry Koonse (guitar); Edwin Livingston (bass); Peter Erskine (drums); Aaron Serfaty (percussion)

Recorded Tritone Recording, 2016






El Caborojeno

Havin’ Some Fun

Home Basie

Ellis Island

Original People

New Rochelle


Latin Dance

Slo Funk



Bob Mintzer, seemingly ever-busy, launches his latest 10-track CD and it shapes up very nicely indeed. There’s the Latino relaxation of El Caborojeno, its sectional counter-themes lending density, and the solos - trumpet and the leader himself – adding sparkling colour. Then there is the question of heritage and lineage, revealed in Havin’ Some Fun, which is couched in the vernacular of the Basie band and where Edwin Livingston’s comping evokes the great man himself or possibly Nat Pierce. More Basie influence infuses Home Basie – obviously so, given the title – but so too does a dose of funky R n B. There’s a more ruminative element at work in Original People though that’s not a function of tempo, as it’s certainly no laid back opus. But what one finds is textual interplay and a wide sonic palette, conveyed by this top-notch band.

New Rochelle sounds almost Emersonian in its classic American brass calls – there’s something elemental in this sound – but that soon segues into an easy striding groove that could easily be a TV sig tune; attractively so. Interspersed through the disc is Afro-Cuban music and Latin Dance is an especially good example, where the lower saxophones provide nutritious support to the ensemble and where the rhythmic vivacity stoked by the rhythm section gels excellently. Slo Funk is a kind of funk-swing hybrid with a sinuously sexy sax solo from Mintzer – how galling it must be for him to see his name misspelled on the personnel listing of his own disc! Dedicated to Thad Jones, Tribute opens with Basie stylings and adds a March section and taut tight tempi. It ends the disc on a high note – a disc that promotes the Old Testament truths of Basie and his ilk, as well as the Spanish Tinge from South America served up with the leader’s – and his band’s -accustomed enthusiasms and excellences.

Jonathan Woolf

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