Craig Buhler | Capistrano Sessions

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Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Jazz: Smooth Jazz Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Capistrano Sessions

by Craig Buhler

Melodic as Desmond, smooth like the MJQ, grooves like Gene Harris, rhythmic as Ray Charles, sensual as Getz - Cap Sessions - compelling yet accessible.
Genre: Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Lookear
4:35 $0.99
2. Capistrano
4:18 $0.99
3. Rivers
3:49 $0.99
4. October
4:56 $0.99
5. Paris Buffet
3:48 $0.99
6. Himalayan
2:58 $0.99
7. Migration
3:42 $0.99
8. Molly Ann
4:06 $0.99
9. Quiet Passion
3:43 $0.99
10. Madrid Session
4:11 $0.99
11. Harbor Cafe Blues
2:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
***What the critics say about "Cap Sessions"***

Michael Scott Cain, Pacific Northwest coast sax player Craig Buhler has put together a really nice album here. The format may be standard, but the playing is not; these guys are good, solid pros who know their way around their instruments. unpredictable and rich. Most of the Capistrano Sessions is accessible jazz, but it never degenerates into the "light jazz" that causes so many people to install CD players and satellite radios in their cars so that they can hear the real thing. Capistrano Sessions is the real thing.

Forrest Dylan Bryant, Jazz Times “a rich, satisfying sound.”

Ken Dryden, All Music Guide “4 out of 5 stars A multi-talented reedman, playing tenor and alto sax plus clarinet. What's particularly surprising is how to the point each of the pieces is, there are no overly long solos; the musicians solo effectively within brief spotlights and none of the performances is too long, a rarity for a 21st century jazz CD. This independent jazz release easily stands out from the competition and is warmly recommended.

Jon Newey, Jazzwise Magazine A member of cult surf band HONK, the Seattle-based saxophonist's quintet's recording of originals is slightly echoing the old Shearing lounge-bop sound.

David Johnson, Northwest Jazz Profile These selections will delight both the serious jazz aficionado as well as those new to the art form.

Glenn Astarita, Jazzreview Along with his quintet, Buhler doesn’t bombard the listener with technical gymnastics. Sure, these folks can play, but it’s more about the leader’s strong compositions that are designed with finesse and memorable hooks largely engineered with lyrically-rich content. In sum, Buhler shines first and foremost as a composer who zooms in on the notion that sustainable melodies and nicely-coordinated dynamics are sometimes more important than high-impact soloing exhibitions. To that end, good taste and clarity of execution rules the roost here.

John Soltes, Music Craig Buhler’s Capistrano Sessions is a light jazz feast for the ears. The gentle humming of Buhler’s clarinet and alto sax are met with the wailing of Brian Atkinson’s trumpet to make a beautiful album

D. Oscar Groomes, O's Place Magazine They are a swinging band that is well integrated with a pleasing spirit. These are soothing songs with lots of character.

Larry Hollis, Cadence Magazine - A versatile quintet...that covers quite a bit of ground...skillfull writing...excellent program of thoughtful Jazz..(1 of my 2) picks of the litter.

Eric W. Saeger, featured in Glide Magazine and Skope Magazine Were Buhler a guitar god he’d be more representative of the David Gilmour school of purposefulness

C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz The Capistrano Sessions is a well-conceived project of mainstream jazz with a Left Coast bent. Buhler is a consummate educator and performer who has made this writer’s end-of-the-year list.

Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap Buhler ...leads you on a solid trip. Surrounding himself with unsung MVPs with impressive resumes. Fun stuff jazzbos are sure to like if in the mood for some free and easy jazz that doesn't take the smooth and easy way out.

Edward Blanco, Ejazz Kudos to Buhler for putting together an exciting and engaging set of music with Capistrano Sessions. Of course one would expect nothing less from the talented Buhler. This is an album that will appeal to the serious jazz audience and aficionados alike.

Tris Imboden, (Drummer for the band "Chicago") Great tunes! Some truly satisfying compositions played really well . It's been awhile since I have heard a recording that would be labeled "Jazz" that wasn't overly preoccupied with trying to show off the participants musical muscle. This CD is more about songs and songs played really well. Don't get me wrong, the playing is masterful, but no one seems bent on "going to the hot dog stand". I love it.

Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz The vibrant mainstream sounds on Capistrano Sessions--leaning toward the West Coast--stay crisp and gregarious. Craig Buhler and company wear their jazz joy on their sleeves.

Jim Hale, Arrange/Vocalist for "Clockwork" This is pure listening pleasure. Craig Buhler has a real ear for fascinating melodies, and the variety of styles shows off his arranging skills, not to mention his mastery of single reeds. This is one of those CDs that, as I play it, I wish I had been in the studio with these guys.

Gary Peterson, Jazzreview I am humbled by Buhler's Capistrano Sessions and its humbling effect on my false preconceptions. I like it; I even enjoy it. Yes, these are more, I suppose, tone poems, as a lot of decomposing composers used to call them (see M. Python) than full score mind boggling improvisations upon improvisations. So, thank you, Craig Buhler. I'm going to play your CD a lot more than I had (pre?) planned. Maybe I'll learn something. I know my daughter and all her young jazz musician friends did because of players and teachers like you.

* "Capistrano Sessions" features the inspired drumming of Paul Kreibich (, who has been featured with Ray Charles, Woody Herman, Gene Harris, James Moody, Bobby Shew, and many others.
* Pianist Dave Witham ( has been George Benson's Music Director for many years and has procuced & recorded with many jazz luminaries.
* Trumpeter / vibist Brian Atkinson has been in the Disneyland Band for over 20 years and has performed with Lou Rawls & Natalie Cole, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, & other great jazz bands.
Craig Buhler ( began his career playing sax, clarinet, & flute with the California rock band "HONK" in 1972. Honk became very popular after recording the soundtrack to "Five Summer Stories," which was #1 in Hawaii & Australia. The band toured with the Beach Boys, Loggins & Messina, and other top bands and recorded 4 other albums. Honk still sells out the Coach House each year.
Buhler spent 3 years recording & touring with "Storyville" whose members included Karen Hammack, Dan Barrett, Paul Kreibich, John Ferraro (Larry Carlton Band), and Brian Atkinson.
Craig has also recorded & toured with Ian Matthews and Vineyard artists Kevin Prosch, Brian Doerkson, & Andy Park. His "Jazz for Youth" combo has performed at over 150 schools & churches around Washington. He plays first tenor in the Stardust Big Band & George Snyder's Oly Jazz Band and teaches improvisation & ear training.
Bassist Joel Hamilton toured with Phil Woods and is now an in-demand studio musician in Los Angeles.
Producer Richard Stekol ( has been guitarist, singer, & song writer with Honk since 1971. His songs have been recorded by Ricky Nelson, Ian Matthews, Kim Carnes, and others. He has produced a dozen of his own CDs, 2 of mine, and CDs for many other artists.
The March, 2006 recording sessions held at Richard Bredice's (Jules Shear Band, The Missles) studio near Capistrano Beach, CA were a joyous reunion & musical celebration. We hope you will feel the joy, optimism, & lean directness of this music as you listen.



to write a review

Mike Merker

Wonderful Jazz mix, Pleasing to the ear.
For the Jazz fan in all of us, this CD will appeal to the young who are just discovering great music and also to the seasoned listener. Very tasty stuff.

Tris Imboden

Great tunes! Some truly satisfying compositions played really well.
It's been awhile since I have heard a recording that would be labeled "Jazz" that wasn't overly preoccupied with trying to show off the participants musical muscle. This CD is more about songs and songs played really well. Don't get me wrong, the playing is masterful, but no one seems bent on "going to the hot dog stand". I love it.
Tris Imboden

l.w. Wendelken

Great band, great charts.
Finally, a classic jazz album from Craig Buhler. This should certainly cement his reputation in jazz circles. The charts are excellent, and his lyric sax soars.


Absolutely Wonderful. Captures the Feel!!!!!!!
This Cd is amazing. I loved listing to the music over and over. It is absolutely wonderful, and captures the feel of Jazz. Also has real Personality.

Will Brady

Totally original and swingin'.
It's like discovering Thai food.

Bob Golightly

A delightful musical treasure
A delightful musical treasure! Relaxing, buoyant, bright and charming original ideas, elegantly played. A wonderful addition to the music enthusiast's collection.

Bill West

Amazing versatility in both writing and performing...a superb result!
Craig Buhler shows amazing versatility in both his performing and writing in this collection of beguiling original compositions that range from straight ahead jazz to moody latin tempos and even a cha cha. Backed by a simpatico rhythm section and trumpeter Brian Atkinson, who doubles on vibes on several tracks, Buhler switches from tenor to alto sax to clarinet with equal aplomb. But the emphasis in the arrangements, also by Craig, is on ensemble playing to create a pleasurable listening experience. A superb result ... well worth repeated play.

Bill Foley

Tight, professional, and witty
This CD is a great to listen to if one just wants to hear some great music that is not to complicated. Some Jazz music moves so much that it's more kinetic than musical.
Craig does a great job of letting the listener follow what's going on whether a musician or not.

Jay Williams

A most refreshing take on fairly traditional melody and harmony
Sublime! Ingenious mix of melancholy, joy, wistfulness and grace.

Signe Crawford, editor of "Keys to Music" by Craig Buhler

Craig's tunes are fresh, exciting, and hummable. I love them.
It's been my privledge to have edited Craig's book of 54 etudes with CD (soon to be realeased), which contains most of the tunes on "Capistrano". Each one has something different to say. The songs have become as much a part of my experience as any Standard, and I believe that they are all Standard worthy.
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