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  1. Cantaloupe Island [6:56]

  2. Chameleon [11:39]

  3. Dolphin Dance [8:56]

  4. Eye of the Hurricane [7:45]

  5. Stevie R. [6:17]

  6. Maiden Voyage [8:07]

  7. Jessica [7:07]

  8. Watermelon Man [9:27]

  9. Toys [6:48]


    Dick Oats- Lead alto and soprano
    Mark Gross- Alto and soprano
    Walt Weiskopf- Tenor
    Robert Nordmark- Tenor
    Frank Basile- Baritone

    Trumpets and Flueglhorns:

    Nick Marchione- Lead
    Jon Shaw
    Tatum Greenblatt
    Frank Brodahl
    Joe Magnarelli
    Jakob Gudmundsson, on Eye of the Hurricane

    John Mosca- Lead
    Larry Farrell
    Steen Nikolaj Hansen
    Max Siegel- Bass Trombone

    Guitar: Paul Meyers

    Piano: Adam Birnbaum

    Bass: Martin Wind

    Drums: John Riley

    Total Playing Time: [73:02]


    Saxophonist and bandleader Dick Oatts has combined talents with jazz composer and arranger Mats Holmquist, and together they have formed the New York Jazz Orchestra, a group of top jazz musicians from Scandinavia and New York City. The result of this collaboration is a fine tribute album to jazz pianist, composer and bandleader Herbie Hancock. This album features eight of Herbie’s compositions from early in his career, plus a Mats Holmquist composition, Stevie R. Herbie Hancock’s most famous composition, Watermelon Man, first appeared on his 1963 debut album Takin’ Off. It is a 16 bar blues tune with a strong, simple melody and funky beat. The band performs it with a bouncy rhythm section supporting two saxophone solos, baritone Frank Basilie and tenor Walt Weiskopf. Pianist Adam Birnbaum adds a slice of hard bop piano riffing to balance out the brass-heavy arrangement. Herbie’s 1965 album Maiden Voyage, was a concept album with an oceanic theme. Three tunes from that album are included here; Eye of the Hurricane, Dolphin Dance, and Maiden Voyage. Adam Birnbaum and soprano saxophonist Dick Oatts each take a solo on Dolphin Dance, a sophisticated, moody jazz standard with a strong melody and multiple chord changes. Maiden Voyage is another simple-yet-sophisticated Hancock composition, a modal jazz piece written with only four chords that vamp repetitively, while solo instruments waft above it all. Chameleon appeared on the 1973 Columbia Records album Head Hunters. The song is built around a two-chord vamp in a jazz-funk style, with a strong funk bass line supported by the trombone section. Robert Nordmark and Walt Weiskopf perform energetic tenor sax solos, and guitarist Paul Meyers adds a creative solo melody that stands out sharply amidst the eleven minutes of heavy brass funk.

    This music was recorded on June 11, 2015 at Water Music Studios, Hoboken, N.J. Mats Holmquist provided the music arrangements. Mixing was performed by Willem Bleeker and Mats Holmquist at X-level Studios, Stockholm, Sweden in August 2015. Mastering was performed by Bjorn Engelmann at Cutting Room Studios, Stockhom, Sweden. The album was released in February, 2016. The sound quality is excellent.

    Bruce McCollum

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