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Stockton Helbing | Lodestar

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Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Jazz: Weird Jazz Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by Stockton Helbing

First album by drummer Stockton Helbing, the last drummer and producer for the late jazz trumpet legend Maynard Ferguson.
Genre: Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Sign of the Times
4:16 $0.99
2. Hey Kid, I'm a Computer!
4:19 $0.99
3. What Could Be, What Has Been
5:49 $0.99
4. In Orion
4:18 $0.99
5. Stocktorb
5:03 $0.99
6. Departure
6:50 $0.99
7. In the Next
5:04 $0.99
8. Harrell's Herald
5:07 $0.99
9. Sell Out
5:31 $0.99
10. Until Then
3:26 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Lodestar is the new original music release by Stockton Helbing, the current drummer for jazz legend Maynard Ferguson. Lodestar is an instrumental album that blends the creativity of jazz music with the accessibility of pop music. The original compositions offer memorable melodies while serving as vehicles for improvisation.

Lodestar, released in February 2005, is Stockton's debut album as a bandleader. Lodestar was selected by Maynard Ferguson as the newest album in his MF Presents series, making Stockton the only drummer and the youngest musician to hold the honor.

Lodestar features Ken Edwards on trumpet and flugelhorn, Tom Luer on tenor saxophone, Noel Johnston on guitar, Brian Mulholland on bass, and Stockton Helbing on drums and cymbals. All are graduates of the University of North Texas.

The following is a review from JAZZIZ magazine:
Stockton Helbing
Those expecting more of the high-voltage jazz Helbing drives along as drummer for Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau are in for a pleasant surprise. Helbing and his cohorts cover a lot of ground here, from ECM-style ballads to more traditional combo-style fare, always with personality and originality.

Helbing is content to remain mostly in the background on this disc, disavowing the flashy solos and riffs that mark much of his work onstage with Ferguson. Instead, the spotlight is on trumpeter Ken Edwards and saxophonist Tom Luer. They provide a one-two punch, keeping the melodies moving along and harmonizing and soloing effectively. On “Departure,” Edwards opens on flugelhorn before Luer joins in and then takes over. Bassist Brian Mulholland demonstrates both flash and finesse, his mind keeping up with his fingers, before Edwards and Luer play call and response and then harmonize to the end.

The following “In The Next” is even more delicate, with guitarist Noel Johnston taking the spotlight. He’s the secret weapon here. As the only chording instrument, he’s an essential part of the background for Edwards and Luer. But his solos on “In The Next” or his own “Stocktorb” show imagination and chops, equal parts John Scofield and Pat Metheny.

If you didn’t know, you’d really have no idea who the leader is here. And you suspect that’s just fine with Helbing. He doesn’t step into the spotlight until “Sell Out,” the next-to-last track, and then he’s still more about taste and dynamics than flash and razzle dazzle. Which can be said about the album as a whole.



to write a review

Karen LaGrone

Great listening!
Each chart is a wonderful representation of sheer creativity, not just pleasing to those who study jazz, but anyone. I'm anxious to hear Mr. Helbing's next set of compositions; Lodestar is excellent, and now I'm a Helbing fan!

Greg Puchalski

Excellent. Not heavily percussion weighted as I originally suspected.
I was pleasantly satisfied that the music on this CD featured all instruments. While I like percussion (and the drummer was superb,) there was a nice balance between traditional jazz instruments and the rhythm section. I liked almost all the tracks. No stinkers.

Mauro Moggia - Italy

Very good CD from Maynard's drummer. Track 9 is fantasstic!
Very, very good CD. As Stockton says in the liner notes, there's no instrumental leadership between the band members, but a great global balance. My favourite track is nr. 9, that is my preferred kind of jazz song. What a pity that there is no Maynard's partecipation...

Bob Pettinicchi

A Jazz treat that no serious musician will want to miss. Contemporary Jazz at it
No serious jazz musician, student or jazz enthusiast will want to miss listening to this fine collection of tunes featuring a group of excellent musicians, which also includes the superb performance of drummer Stockton Helbing of the Maynard Ferguson Band. A must for every music library! Contemporary Jazz at its finest.

Candy Warworski

I really enjoyed this CD and you will too! I don't listen to a lot of jazz but I like Maynard Ferguson and wanted to listen to some music by his band and found this really good CD by his drummer. It would be cool if Maynard was on a couple tracks but it's still good. My favorite track is number 5. It would be good to you to buy this!!