New Vintage Big Band | Always and Forever

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Always and Forever

by New Vintage Big Band

Modern big-band jazz with contemporary arrangements of jazz originals and standards. The band covers a diverse range of musical styles, including swing, straight-ahead, rock, funk, fusion, and latin - and everything in between.
Genre: Jazz: Big Band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Mira, Mira
5:07 album only
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2. Without a Song
4:37 album only
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3. Always and Forever
5:00 album only
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4. Best Coast
3:37 album only
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5. Autumn Leaves
2:45 album only
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6. (It’s Just) Talk
7:25 album only
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7. Old Devil Moon
4:46 album only
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8. M.O.T.
5:20 album only
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9. The “Bluest” Blues
4:30 album only
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10. Pavane
6:03 album only
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11. Summertime
6:48 album only
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12. Irrelevant, Incompetent and Immaterial
7:16 album only
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13. Young and Foolish
5:44 album only
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14. Break the Ice
9:28 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
I founded The NEW VINTAGE Big Band in 1991 to provide an outlet for the performance of modern big band jazz. The band plays contemporary arrangements of jazz originals and standards. The band’s library covers a wide range of musical styles, from “straight-ahead swing” to “fusion” - and everything in between. Thanks to groups like NEW VINTAGE, big band jazz is not dead – the music lives on, thanks to a small minority of dedicated and talented musicians committed to performing it.

For many people, the words “big band” stir memories of the popular music of the 1930s and 1940s. I formed NEW VINTAGE because of what “big band” means to me – an exciting and dynamic musical art form not limited to musical styles of the past. In this context “big band” isn’t a style of music – it’s a format for making music. While I have a deep and abiding respect for the tradition and history of “big band” music, NEW VINTAGE is different – we use the classic repertoire of big bands from the 1950s and 1960s (Count Basie, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, etc.) as a basis for showing that the music of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s (and beyond!) also works beautifully in the “big band” format.

The fact is – “big band” is simply music played by a band that’s big. In our case, big enough to include 18 of the best musicians Kansas City has to offer. And big enough to provide the combinations of unique colors and textures of sound that only a band of this size can give to this great, timeless music.

Jack M. Taylor, Jr.
founder and leader, The NEW VINTAGE Big Band

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1. Mira, Mira (5:07) Matt Harris (ASCAP)
Solos: Rob Whitsitt (guitar), Bill Crain (tenor saxophone), Kelly White (drums);
Rhythm section soli: Dave Baker (piano), Rob Whitsitt (guitar), Craig Akin (bass)
Matt Harris can create big band excitement in any rhythmic style, and this latin chart, one of his first, features the complex syncopated rhythms characteristic of salsa. The rhythm section sets up a torrid latin groove behind the melody and solo statements, highlighted by Rob Whitsitt’s guitar embellishments. Bill Crain’s tenor solo captures the mood of the piece perfectly, and the rhythm section plays an intricate (and difficult!) unison soli, finally yielding to Kelly White’s arsenal of drums and percussion. A classic arrangement showing where big band jazz may be headed in the future.

2. Without A Song (4:37) Edward Eliscu, Billy Rose, Vincent Youmans / arr. Rick Stitzel (ASCAP)
Solos: Brad Burchstead (trombone), Bob Harvey (trumpet), Rob Whitsitt (guitar)
Rick Stitzel’s chart breathes new life into an old standard. Tight, dynamic ensemble work frames the solo statements, beginning with a punchy, swinging effort from Brad Burchstead. Following a “killer” sax soli, Bob Harvey wails over the top of the band with a solo that reaches for the sky. Rob Whitsitt’s guitar solo keeps the fire smoldering before the full band returns for a dynamic finish.

3. Always and Forever (4:59) Pat Metheny / arr. Robert Curnow (BMI)
Solos: Al Pearson (flugelhorn)
Bob Curnow’s arrangements of Pat Metheny’s gorgeous melodies were the basis for what I believe was the best big band CD of the 1990s. This beautiful ballad belongs completely to the fat, round-toned flugelhorn of Al Pearson, who plays with an articulate, emotional, lyrical expressiveness reminiscent of Clifford Brown. Behind Al the band whispers, then roars, finally returning to a whisper as Al brings the chart home with feeling.

4. Best Coast (3:37) John LaBarbera (ASCAP)
Solos: Bill Crain (soprano saxophone), Jeff Hamer (trombone)
John LaBarbera’s waltz, written for the Buddy Rich band, has become part of the standard big band repertoire. Unlike most recorded examples of this piece, the rhythmic pulse here is not in two, but in three, an effect that totally transforms this exciting chart into one that is also very beautiful. Bill Crain’s solo soprano sound is enchanting and lyrical, and Jeff Hamer’s trombone displays thoughtful logic, emotion, and intensity. Dig Jay Sollenberger’s lead trumpet.

5. Autumn Leaves (2:45) Joseph Kozma, Johnny Mercer, Jacques Andre Prevert / arr. Johnny Keating (ASCAP)
Solos: Jeff Hamer (trombone), Glenn Carpenter (bass trombone)
The oldest chart in this collection, Keating’s orchestration of this standard dates from the 1950s Ted Heath Orchestra, a wildly popular English big band. The original arrangement was altered to allow for a chorus of swinging trombone from Jeff Hamer. With the lead trumpet of Brian Bass leading the way, the band swings hard and uses wide dynamics to enhance the excitement.

6. (It’s Just) Talk (7:24) Pat Metheny / arr. Robert Curnow (BMI)
Solos: Bill Crain (tenor saxophone), Rob Whitsitt (guitar)
Bob Curnow’s arrangements of the enchanting melodies of Pat Metheny represent a marriage made in heaven, capturing every nuance of Metheny’s beautiful compositions in a big band context. The band achieves a subdued mood in the opening, with the melody stated by a trio of flugelhorn, trombone and tenor saxophone. Bill Crain’s stirring, lyrical tenor solo is followed by a stunning virtuosic solo statement from Rob Whitsitt’s guitar which overflows with musical invention.

7. Old Devil Moon (4:46) E.Y. Harburg, Burton Lane / arr. Sammy Nestico (ASCAP)
Solos: Jack Taylor (flugelhorn intro), Wes Margeson (trumpet), Bob Harvey (trumpet)
Sammy Nestico became Count Basie’s primary arranger in the 1960s because his charts (like the Basie band itself) SWING like crazy. And swing is what this chart is all about. I get to open the proceedings with a rubato introduction on flugelhorn before yielding to the lead trumpet of Brian Bass. The arrangement was expanded to accommodate two solos, the first a pretty, flowing open horn statement from Wes Margeson; the second, an intense, pulsating harmon muted contribution from Bob Harvey.

8. M.O.T. (5:20) Matt Harris (ASCAP)
Solos: Josh Sclar (alto saxophone), Dave Baker (piano), Craig Akin (bass)
Matt Harris scores again with this simple yet memorable melody complemented by rhythmic underpinnings bearing more than just a hint of reggae. “Matt’s Other Tune” features a brooding, ethereal bass and synthesizer introduction which was transcribed and adapted by our own Wes Strowig. After the band states the melody, enter a thoroughly modern alto solo from Josh Sclar, who first caught my attention 8 years ago as a high-school junior. Now an alumnus of the University of Miami, you will be hearing much more from this young man in the future. Kelly White’s auxiliary percussion adds to the “Jamaican” feel of this very different big band arrangement.

9. The “Bluest” Blues (4:29) Steve Allen / arr. Tom Kubis (ASCAP)
Solos: Jack Taylor (harmon mute intro), Marshall DeMuynck (alto saxophone)
As a basis for the evolution of jazz, the blues are about sincerity and simplicity of expression. Although I get a couple of bars of harmon mute in during the intro, this chart belongs completely to Marshall DeMuynck, who understands this better than most. Marshall has been playing the blues for over 60 years, and that experience is on full display here. His musical statements literally drip with sincerity, simplicity, soul, and a smoldering heartfelt passion born of his experience. His solo statements are backed by a gorgeous trombone choir, and the band plays with a passion complementary to Marshall’s, highlighted by a unison trumpet-led shout chorus.

10. Pavane (6:03) Gabriel Fauré / arr. Gary Anderson
Solos: Phil Brenner (clarinet), Jay Sollenberger (piccolo trumpet, flugelhorn),
Carl Bender (baritone saxophone)
Gary Anderson’s arrangement of Faure’s lovely classical composition is a timeless big band chart that sounds as fresh and new today as it did when Woody Herman introduced it into his book in the mid 1970s. Phil Brenner opens the piece by stating the beautiful melody on clarinet. Jay Sollenberger responds by echoing the melodic statement with a gorgeous, singing sound on piccolo trumpet. As the melody is passed deftly from the trombones to the trumpets, of special note is the counter-melodic interludes performed together by Sollenberger on flugelhorn and Carl Bender on baritone. This instrumental combination yields an effect reminiscent of Frank Tiberi’s bassoon on the original version recorded by Herman. The chart was expanded to allow jazz solos by both Carl and Jay. Carl’s baritone solo displays a depth and lyricism uncommon for the instrument, while Jay’s flugelhorn solo is a magnificent musical invention showing off his harmonic conception and burnished tone. Sollenberger closes the piece with a piccolo cadenza that rides over the band.

11. Summertime (6:47) George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward / arr. Brad Morey (ASCAP)
Solos: Jeff Hamer (trombone), Bill Crain (tenor saxophone), Jack Taylor (flugelhorn), Dave Baker (piano)
Brad Morey’s arrangement makes this venerable standard sound new again. A “chorale” introduction gives way to a hard swinging delivery of the melody by the trombones, with background counter-melodic riffs from the sax section. The first solo begins as a duet, as Jeff Hamer is accompanied solely by bassist Craig Akin for the first chorus. On the second chorus, the band enters with riffs that steadily build behind the soloist. Next is a deftly executed sax soli. Check out the lead trumpet of Danny O’Brien! Bill Crain’s tenor solo explores variations of the melody sandwiched around the written lines of the arrangement, then I get a chance to do likewise on flugelhorn. Dave Baker’s tasty piano solo leads directly to a clever “a cappella” section where the rhythm section drops out. Kelly White drives the band home from there through a “chorale” that mimics the introduction.

12. Irrelevant, Incompetent and Immaterial (7:16) Chris Braymen (ASCAP)
Solos: Josh Sclar (alto saxophone), Jeff Hamer (trombone), Brad Burchstead (trombone)
Chris Braymen’s original uses a minor blues structure and wide dynamics as a salute to TV courtroom dramas of the 1950s, particularly Perry Mason, whose trademark objections to the prosecution form the title of the piece. The melody is delivered as a trombone duet from Jeff Hamer and Brad Burchstead. The band’s dynamic range is tested to the limit here, and the arrangement builds in intensity from start to finish. Along the way is another hip solo contribution from Josh Sclar on alto, and an exciting trombone exchange between Hamer and Burchstead, culminating in a challenging descending multiple-triplet run. Lead trumpeter Danny O’Brien’s final double-B flat concert is the exclamation point punctuating over seven minutes of big band excitement.

13. Young and Foolish (5:43) Albert Hague, Arnold Horwitt / arr. Frank Mantooth (ASCAP)
Solos: Dave Baker (piano), Jack Taylor (trumpet)
Frank Mantooth has a special touch with standard tunes. This arrangement is simply gorgeous. The chart opens with the rhythm section establishing a great combo ballad feel. One great aspect of a big band is its ability to play as a combo (as in the first few minutes of this piece). However, a combo can never be a big band, and once the band enters, this point is driven home, as the intensity continues to build. Pianist Dave Baker solos throughout, weaving a series of lyrical, expressive, and thoughtful embellishments which add to the beauty of the original melody. My trumpet solo is the climax of the arrangement, and I’d like to especially dedicate this track (as is the entire project) to my wonderful Dad, who spent the better part of his life demonstrating to me that, given enough time, Youth and Foolishness ultimately yield to the wisdom of accumulated experiences.

14. Break The Ice (9:28) Chip McNeill (ASCAP)
Solos: Brian Bass (lead trumpet – melody), Dave Baker (piano), Jeff Hamer (trombone),
Jay Sollenberger (trumpet – jazz), Bill Crain (tenor saxophone), Kelly White (drums)
The flagwaver of this collection. Chip McNeill’s exciting original alternates between latin and straight-ahead rhythmic patterns, and it serves as the perfect platform to showcase the formidable power and range of lead trumpeter Brian Bass, whose sound is nearly as wide as it is high. Brian’s solo statements of the melody, and his sound leading the ensemble, are an object lesson in contemporary big band lead trumpet. McNeill’s melody suggests the grandeur and majesty of an epic film. For solo highlights, there’s Dave Baker’s long, flowing piano lines. Jeff Hamer makes a statement brimming with logic and musicality, making his final point precisely in the last bar and beat of his solo chorus. Bill Crain displays his versatility, equally adept at creating great improvised melodies in either latin or straight-ahead contexts. Jay Sollenberger’s solo sound is immediately recognizable – his solo statements overflow with intensity, both in the solo section and in the subsequent exchanges with the band. Kelly White makes his point clear from the drum set. Then, as if riding off into the sunset, Brian returns to literally fly the band home, ending in the clouds.

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Woodwinds (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, flute, clarinet):

Phil Brenner
Carl Bender
Marlin Cooper
Bill Crain
Nick Crane
Marshall DeMuynck (lead alto, tracks 3, 5, 7, 9, 14)
Jamie Greene
Don Hatfield
Jim Neiburger
Paul Nolen
Josh Sclar (lead alto, tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13)
Doug Talley
Rich Wheeler
Bryan Wood
Randy Woy

Trombones, Bass Trombone:

Brad Burchstead
Glenn Carpenter (bass)
Rob Claggett
Jeff Hamer (lead trombone – all tracks)
Wes Strowig

Trumpets, Flugelhorns:

Brian Bass (lead trumpet, tracks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 14)
Phil Burger
Bob Harvey
Chris Leopold
Brian Macdonald
Wes Margeson
Fred Mulholland
Danny O’Brien (lead trumpet, tracks 2, 6, 8, 11, 12)
Al Pearson
Jeff Smith
Jay Sollenberger (lead trumpet, tracks 4, 10, 13)
Jack Taylor (leader, trumpet, flugelhorn)

Guitar: Rob Whitsitt
Piano, Electric Piano, Synthesizer: Dave Baker
Acoustic and Electric Bass: Craig Akin
Drums and Percussion: Kelly White

Conductor Jack M. Taylor, Jr.
Producers Jack M. Taylor, Jr. and Bill Crain
Executive Producer Jack M. Taylor, Jr.
(for New Vintage Music, www.bigbandjazz.com)
Associate Producers Jeff Hamer
(for New Vintage Music) and Joe Larson
Engineer Bill Crain
Recording November 1998 – June 2000 at BRC Audio Productions, Kansas City, Missouri
Mix June – July 2000 by Bill Crain at BRC Audio Productions
Mastering July 2000 by Bill Crain at BRC Audio Productions
Cover Illustration Brett Bass (avartist@aol.com)
Art Direction and Design Keith Kavanaugh,
BauWau Design (www.bauwau.com)
Photography Dave Baker, Jeff Hamer, and
Jack M. Taylor, Jr.
Liner Notes Jack M. Taylor, Jr.

Josh Sclar appears courtesy of NMI Records
Doug Talley is a Selmer clinician
Kelly White plays Sabian cymbals and Vic Firth drumsticks

The NEW VINTAGE Big Band is available to play at virtually any function – parties, receptions, dances, and concerts. To inquire about a particular function or date, or to add yourself to our mailing list, call (913) 269-NOTE or
e-mail: jmt@bigbandjazz.com
NEW VINTAGE Music is the web's portal into the world of contemporary big band jazz. Blogs, reviews, commentaries, and more. Visit us online at www.bigbandjazz.com.

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Thank you to:
All the musicians who contributed their talent to this project – I have admired their musicianship and artistry for many years. Working with them, and getting to know them personally, has been incredibly rewarding – a dream realized

- Bill Crain - whose engineering virtuosity is surpassed only by his saxophone virtuosity, for his knowledge of and love for the music
- Jeff Hamer- for his commitment to excellence in everything he does – and for matching my own passion for the music with his
- Jay Sollenberger- whose gift as a trumpet virtuoso comes packaged with consummate professionalism, humility, grace, and class, for his enduring commitment to keeping the music alive, which has survived over 30 years and countless nights on the road
- Bob Harvey - for responding, during a critical phase of the project, with superb musicianship and a true love for the music
- Josh Sclar (“The Kid”) - a rising star of the saxophone, for breathing new life into the project – both with his chops and with his assistance with personnel
- Brian Bass - whose superb lead trumpet chops are surpassed by his values of friendship and faith, for contributing the former to the project and for sharing the latter with me
- Joe Larson a supporter of the band whom I recently “converted” into an appreciative listener of the music, for over 25 years of great friendship
- Marlin Cooper, Ed Hosking, Paul McBride, Ron McCurdy, Jim Seeman, Barry Springer, Dick Wright - great teachers who, in sharing their love for the music, inspired me to make its pursuit a life-long avocation
- Helen Taylor, Marsha Alexander, Jan Langgard, Dan Taylor- for their faith, support, and undying love that helped renew my hope for the future – while easing the pain of an overwhelming loss
- Susan Taylor, Kyle White, Drew White - for their patience, acceptance, and perseverance throughout my obsessive pursuit of completing this project, for understanding its importance to me, and for loving me in spite of it
- Jack Marvin Taylor - for timeless lessons of friendship, faith, family, fatherhood, and love, that together form a lasting legacy. Thanks, Dad – I'll love you "Always And Forever".

Celebrating A Life

I have been in love with music as long as I can remember. As a small boy, I asked for and received a transistor radio capable of receiving FM stereo broadcasts. I would follow the progress of my favorite pop songs on the various “Top 40” countdowns. One radio station published a new “Top 40”
every Friday, and I would collect these and post them in my room. At one point I even convinced the station to mail me the list every Friday so that I would not have to ask my Mom to take me to the drugstore to get it. While listening to this music, I would often daydream about what my future would hold.

While watching TV in the evenings, my Dad would point out famous trumpet players like Dizzy Gillespie, Herb Alpert, and Doc Severinsen. I was fascinated by the sound. When 5th grade rolled around, the opportunity presented itself to learn a musical instrument. My Mom wanted me to try the violin, but I held out for the trumpet. My grandmother had been a cornet player as a young woman, and she dug her 50–year old, tarnished black cornet out of her attic. Dad took it to get overhauled, and my musical career was underway. While not a “child prodigy”, I did manage to become the best trumpeter at my grade school, and then at my junior high school. In high school I mowed lawns to earn enough money to buy a new trumpet, with my Dad’s help. I also discovered that, while I was no longer the best player, my interest in and commitment to music remained very strong.

When I first heard music played by a “big band” (a group consisting of various combinations of 5 saxes, 5 trombones, 5 trumpets, and a rhythm section), I was totally enraptured. I knew instinctively that somehow this music would always be a part of my life. Then, as a senior in high school who played in the “stage band”, the director of the band suggested to the trumpet section that we might be interested in going to hear a famous trumpet player and his band that were passing through town. The trumpet player’s name was Maynard Ferguson. We went to the concert and were astonished by what this man Ferguson could do with a trumpet. The sound was thrilling and exhilarating, the music brimming with visceral excitement.

In college I collected records by Ferguson and other great trumpeters, as well as records by other big bands. I was hooked. As a non–music major I was able to “walk on” and join one of the university’s jazz ensembles. I was nowhere near the best player, but I was thrilled to be a part of it. After college I no longer had the opportunity to be part of such a group. My playing and practicing became much less frequent until, after many years, I finally discovered community
big bands – groups that rehearsed and performed just for the fun of it. Again I was thrilled to be a part of it, and I met many other wonderful folks who shared my love for the music. After a few years, I became restless playing the same old simple, stock arrangements of the same old standard tunes. I yearned to play more modern arrangements, similar to the material I’d been exposed to in college.

My Dad recognized this in me and encouraged me. On a regular basis he would say “You should start your own band”. For a long time I dismissed the possibility as nothing more than wishful thinking. Finally, in 1991, I decided – “why not?” – and I began buying some charts and holding rehearsals. I
called the band “New Vintage” to reflect my interest in playing newer, more contemporary arrangements. The rest, as they say, is history. I have learned so much about life, about music, and about people from my leadership of the band. Only other band leaders can possibly fathom the time, dedication,
and persistence required to assemble 15–18 musicians (and their equipment) to play the music we all love – for free. Over the years, the band got better and better as I discovered that the better players generally had musical interests closer to my own, and they shared my love for playing and performing these “great charts”. Eventually, I began to think in terms of recording the music I loved, and the musicians who contributed their considerable talent made it possible. Depending on the personnel on any given date, I am not only not the best player, but am frequently unable to crack my own trumpet section. And that’s OK with me – because the music is what it’s all about.

From the very beginning, my Dad was a strong supporter of my musical endeavors, and this intensified after I formed the band. Whenever I performed, he was usually there. In a lot of subtle ways, from sharing 1960s–era nighttime television together, to helping me buy a trumpet, to gently urging me to “start my own band”, he’s the reason you’re holding this CD in your hand, reading these notes.

We began this project in November of 1998, and in February of 1999, Dad passed away suddenly. The world came down around me because the man I loved most, admired most, and wanted to impress the most was suddenly gone. What had started as merely a musical statement also became a way to show the world how I feel about this man. I devoted myself to the project with more fervor and intensity than ever – refusing to settle for anything less than the very best in every aspect. I’d like to think that, as always, he’s been with me every step of the way. While I now realize that a loss like this will have lifelong effects – and is not something that one can ever truly “get over” – I think it can help me become a better man – which I’m sure is what Dad would have wanted. I’ll always (and forever) remain proud to carry his name – and to be known as his son. I can still remember as a kid Dad telling his family that he didn’t want a funeral to mark his passing – but a big party instead.

Well, let the celebration begin.

This is my way of telling my Dad thanks, and goodbye – for now.

He will be loved – Always And Forever. Jack Marvin Taylor - June 11, 1927 – February 4, 1999

Jack M. Taylor, Jr.

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Reviews


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Brian

Great CD!
This CD is great from beginning to end. A bunch of great arrangements of popular tunes. Several popular Maynard Ferguson tracks on here as well which were all very nicely done. This sounds like a fun band to play in as it is a fun CD to listen to.
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