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Brooks Tegler | [un]Common Denominator

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Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Jazz: Swing/Big Band Moods: Type: Tributes
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[un]Common Denominator

by Brooks Tegler

Small group mainstream swing in the tradition of Krupa, Goodman, Shaw, Dorsey, Ellington,Basie, Miller, and Benny Carter
Genre: Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Out of My Way
3:17 album only
2. Drop Me Off in Harlem/Go Harlem
5:53 album only
3. Pam
3:24 album only
4. Opus 1/2
3:35 album only
5. Don\'t Take Your Love from Me
3:59 album only
6. It\'s Better
2:38 album only
7. Easy Living
5:48 album only
8. Whispers in the Dark
2:30 album only
9. The Lady\'s in Love
5:24 album only
10. Prisoner of Love
4:01 album only
11. Frenesi
4:06 album only
12. Speak Low
4:44 album only
13. Black Market Stuff
3:37 album only
14. Northwest Passage
3:39 album only
15. Sure Had a Wonderful Time
4:26 album only


Album Notes
[un]Common Denominator is a small-group follow-up to That’s It, Brooks Tegler’s big band release of 2007. Here, the drummer pays tribute to the combos the big band leaders formed to showcase outstanding sidemen.
Brooks has searched for lesser known songs and renditions to include on this CD. The septet and tentet pieces feel authentic and swing true to the era.



to write a review

Jazz Journal

Bruce Crowther
Those who care for the mainstream of jazz will find much to admire in this excellent and warmly recommended cd. Tegler
chooses not to cleave painstakingly to past styles and formats. This cd is only by implication a nostalgic trip down overgrown byways. Rather, it is a fresh look at the ethos and the material, with Tegler intent on making his audience aware that when first heard this music was exciting and innovatory, filled with remarkably high levels of energy and melodic charm.

Greg Graham

Less is more
Let me start by saying I loved Brooks Teglers Big Band CD "That's It!", and expected this small group CD to be good, but not as great as the full band. WRONG! I like this new CD even better!

Brooks is a master at picking swinging tunes that are seldom heard, but deserve to be played much more often. There is something new here for even the most devout swing fan.

The mood and style are true to the '30's/'40's era without simply being a copy. The arrangements are new, varied, and creative. The improvisation is stellar. These guys are the real deal, playing real jazz, and doing it with great skill and love for the music. What a lineup of talent!

There is no afro-cuban electric fusion on this CD. UnCommon Denominator is solid, classic, all natural, swing-era joy. I sure had a wonderful time listening to it. Thanks, professor Tegler, for the "new math".

Joe Lang

Jersey Jazz
What Tegler has achieved on this album is nothing short of amazing. He believes that this music should be approached with an ear toward avoiding nostalgia, and finding ways to make the music sound fresh, yet connected with the spirit of the time during which it first came to public awareness. He chose a program of tunes with about half being familiar to most listeners, and the remainder being rather obscure, but quite wonderful. Among the better known selections are “Don’t Take Your Love from Me,” “Easy Living,” “The Lady’s in Love with You,” “Prisoner of Love,” “Frenesi,” “Speak Low” and “Northwest Passage.” Compare that list with the balance of the program, “Out of My Way,” “Pam,” “Opus ½,” “It’s Better to Be Yourself,” “Whispers in the Dark,” “Black Market Stuff” and “Sure Had a Wonderful Time,” and the contrast in familiarity is immediately apparent. The musical inspiration for the album was Benny Carter. While only a few of the tunes are associated in any way with Carter, it was his style, both musically and personally, that was the hallmark for Tegler’s approach to this music. Other apparent influences are Gene Krupa, and the clarinet playing leaders, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman and Woody Herman. There are too many fine players involved in this project to single out any of them, but special mention must be made of Tegler, who appears on all of the tracks, and Tommy Cecil, who covers the bass chair on all selections that call for a bass. They are consistent in their abilities to keep great time, and to lend their own unique voices to the mix. This is a do not miss disc!

james wardrop

(un)common denominator
This is the real deal! Brooks and a steller group of the best swing musicians anywhere apply new approaches to great songs from the 30's and 40's. The deep respect for and understanding of the true traditions of swing's golden age comes through on every track and in every solo. These guys get it right! If you don't recognize some of the player's names, have no fear. All are world-class and prove it again and again on this mainstream gem. Thank you, Brooks and company. May we have more?

Tom Haines

Very solid and well-swung recording
As a drummer myself, I tend to shy away from drummer-led recordings as the rhythms tend to be too over indulgent. On Uncommon Denominator however, I was impressed with how Brooks Tegler avoids that trap entirely - not by playing that is restrained, but with playing that is tasteful. Together, this group delivers a very enjoyable and listenable collection of songs. The recording is top notch, but not over-produced. Often modern swing recordings sound too compressed and punchy, and it pulls you out of the era. This recording sounds clean, solid, and modern without betraying the era.

Bob Knack

Editor, "The Great Escape", UK
There have been many fine CD tributes to the big bands. Here, we have a twist, a salute to the "band within a band", that is, the small groups that would break out of the big outfit and come down front to play a little jazz. I was impressed here by noy only the first-rate sound engineering by Bob Dawson but also the song choices. These are tunes that avid big band fans are sure to know, but haven't been "done to death". Tegler's accomplished swingers give the entire program a fresh treatment worth the price of admission. There is a nice balance, also, of ballads and up-tempos here.