Larry McKenna | Larry McKenna From All Sides

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Jazz: Mainstream Jazz Jazz: Jazz Vocals Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Larry McKenna From All Sides

by Larry McKenna

Straight-ahead, swinging modern jazz at its best! Standards and Larry McKenna originals featuring his gorgeous tenor saxophone sound, beautiful balladry, and be-bop inspired improvisations - plus superb vocalist Joanna Pascale and 8 fantastic sidemen.
Genre: Jazz: Mainstream Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Everything I've Got
9:58 $0.99
2. One Falling Tree (feat. Joanna Pascale)
5:38 $0.99
3. That Old Black Magic
5:03 $0.99
4. The Close Things (feat. Joanna Pascale)
4:03 $0.99
5. September Song
8:00 $0.99
6. Friends for a While (feat. Joanna Pascale)
6:37 $0.99
7. Samba De Else
8:04 $0.99
8. Side Stepping
5:56 $0.99
9. I'll Never Be the Same
6:01 $0.99
10. Action Blues
6:01 $0.99
11. Christmas Is Being With You (feat. Joanna Pascale)
5:17 $0.99
12. You're It
4:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
NOTE: Physical CD autographed on request is also available direct from Larry: email

“Larry McKenna is simply one of the best musicians I know. His improvisations are astounding, melodic, intelligent and consistently surprising. His compositions are unique and masterful, and his arranging delivers precisely what the song requires.” ~ Warren Vaché, Cornetist

“His playing is hauntingly beautiful and his mastery of the jazz idiom is peerless.” ~ Victor L. Schermer,

One of the world’s finest jazz saxophone players, Larry McKenna has just released his fourth CD as a leader, “Larry McKenna From All Sides."

Fans of straight-ahead, swinging modern jazz will love this CD featuring Larry McKenna’s gorgeous tenor saxophone sound, beautiful balladry, and fluid, be-bop inspired improvisations. Together with four standards, “Larry McKenna From All Sides” showcases eight original works arranged and performed by Larry with a band of premier East Coast jazz artists, including four new songs with lyrics by Melissa Gilstrap, interpreted by rising star vocalist Joanna Pascale.

"Every Larry McKenna solo on 'Larry McKenna From All Sides' is a gem. Hearing Larry McKenna improvise is like listening to a master storyteller - one with an immense vocabulary, impeccable timing and incomparable wit." ~ Gerald Veasley, Bassist

VOTED NUMBER TWO SONG OF 2013! The McKenna/Gilstrap original bossa nova “One Falling Tree” as sung so expressively by Joanna Pascale is the #2 listener Favorite New Jazz Release of 2013 in the Top 100 list of WRTI 90.1 FM (broadcasting in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware). The song also was voted by listeners into the weekly WRTI Jazz Hot 11 Countdown for 18 straight weeks, including 4 weeks at #1!

DON'T MISS OUT ON THE PHYSICAL CD PACKAGE! The CD's beautiful packaging is reminiscent of the covers of classic jazz LPs. This classy 8-panel digipak features extensive liner notes by Larry, lyrics to the four new vocal tunes, and two original portraits of Larry drawn in live performance plus photographs of all personnel by artist/lyricist Melissa Gilstrap. In Larry's first-ever liner notes, he shares the excitement of his recent development as a vocal songwriter and engaging stories of his inspiration for the 8 originals on the CD, all with his trademark humor and modesty. [We encourage you to purchase the physical CD as none of these bonus materials is available with digital downloads!]

Personnel - "Both the horns and the rhythm section are virtuosos at the top of their game. " ~ Victor L. Schermer,

Larry McKenna – tenor saxophone
Joanna Pascale – vocals
George Rabbai – trumpet & flugelhorn
Joe McDonough – trombone
Tom Lawton – piano
Joshua Richman – piano
Kevin MacConnell – bass
Lee Smith – bass
Pete Smyser – guitars
Dan Monaghan – drums
Glenn Ferracone - engineer

Tracks (total time 75:41) - All arrangements by Larry McKenna:

1. Everything I’ve Got
(by Lorenz Hart & Richard Rodgers)
Performers: McKenna, Lawton, MacConnell, Monaghan

2. One Falling Tree
(by Larry McKenna & Melissa Gilstrap)
Performers: McKenna, Pascale, McDonough, Richman, MacConnell, Smyser, Monaghan

3. That Old Black Magic
(by Johnny Mercer & Harold Arlen)
Performers: McKenna, McDonough, Richman, MacConnell, Smyser, Monaghan

4. The Close Things
(by Larry McKenna & Melissa Gilstrap)
Performers: McKenna, Pascale, Rabbai, McDonough, Lawton, Smith, Monaghan

5. September Song
(by Maxwell Anderson & Kurt Weill)
Performers: McKenna, McDonough, Richman, MacConnell, Smyser, Monaghan

6. Friends For A While
(by Larry McKenna & Melissa Gilstrap)
Performers: McKenna, Pascale, McDonough, Richman, MacConnell, Smyser, Monaghan

7. Samba De Else
(by Larry McKenna)
Performers: McKenna, Rabbai, McDonough, Lawton, Smith, Smyser, Monaghan

8. Side Stepping
(by Larry McKenna)
Performers: McKenna, Rabbai, McDonough, Lawton, Smith, Monaghan

9. I’ll Never Be The Same
(by Gus Kahn, Matt Malneck & Frank Signorelli)
Performers: McKenna, Lawton, MacConnell, Monaghan

10. Action Blues
(by Larry McKenna & Melissa Gilstrap)
Performers: McKenna, Lawton, MacConnell, Monaghan

11. Christmas Is Being With You
(by Larry McKenna & Melissa Gilstrap)
Performers: McKenna, Pascale, Rabbai, McDonough, Lawton, Smith, Smyser, Monaghan

12. You’re It
(by Larry McKenna)
Performers: McKenna, Lawton, MacConnell, Monaghan

Produced by Larry McKenna and Melissa Gilstrap, “Larry McKenna From All Sides” is supported in part by a 2012 Subito Grant from the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Composers Forum.

“Someone once asked Stan Getz his idea of the ultimate tenor player. His reply was, someone with my technique, Zoots Sims’s time and Al Cohn’s ideas. Well, that player has finally been found. Just listen to Larry McKenna on this CD. Wow!!”
~ Marion Evans, two-time Grammy nominated arranger & arranger of five songs on Tony Bennett’s platinum-selling, Grammy-winning 2011 album, “Duets II”

More About Larry McKenna

“Often described as one of Philadelphia's "best kept secrets," and revered by the many musicians he has mentored throughout the decades, his playing, distinguished in nature, displays a lyrical approach of vocal like quality, with a velvety romantic tone of sheer elegance, that reminds you of a time when men and women still spoke of each other in the terms of gentleman and lady.” ~Tim Warfield, Saxophonist

Larry’s national reputation as both a masterful jazz improviser in the be-bop and modern jazz styles of the 1950s and 1960s and an influential jazz educator is firmly established after five decades in his profession.

For years, Larry’s status as a jazz great has been affirmed by his myriad fans and the jazz stars with whom he has played and recorded including Woody Herman, Clark Terry, Buddy DeFranco, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney and Frank Sinatra.

Larry is also esteemed in the classical music world. In 2011 the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra showcased him as a soloist in three concerts, performing movements from an arrangement of Duke Ellington’s “Nutcracker Suite.” Since 2002 he also has been a featured artist with PhilOrk Jazz, a group formed by members of The Philadelphia Orchestra which features guest artists chosen from the highest ranks of the Philadelphia jazz scene.

Larry is one of the most sought-out saxophone and jazz theory teachers in Philadelphia. He has taught countless students at University of the Arts, Temple University School of Music, West Chester University, Widener University, and Community College of Philadelphia. Many of his students have pursued successful careers in music. Larry’s influence, spanning decades, can be said to have established a Larry McKenna school of saxophone playing in the Philadelphia region.

In recognition of his extensive contributions to the jazz world, in 2012 Larry was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in jazz performance and education from the University of the Arts; the Jazz Master Award from the Media, Pennsylvania Business Authority; and the Making A Difference Award from The Jazz Bridge Project, a nonprofit organization serving Philadelphia-area jazz and blues musicians in crisis.

In addition to being a frequent guest on recordings by other top jazz players, Larry has released three other CDs under his own name to widespread critical acclaim. His last CD, “Profile” (Dreambox Media 2009), mixes jazz standards with Larry’s original compositions, including the lovely and poignant ballad “Perhaps This Wintertime” with lyrics by Melissa Gilstrap. Premiered on the CD by vocalist Nancy Reed, this ballad was critically praised as “destined to become a new standard” and subsequently performed and recorded by other internationally known vocalists. Larry’s earlier CDs, “It Might As Well Be Spring” (Dreambox Media 2001) and “My Shining Hour – Music of Harold Arlen” (EPE Records 1995), received praise from jazz critics across the United States and Canada and remain in demand.

Music arranged by Larry McKenna has been performed on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and in the Nicholas Cage movie “Birdy,” in which Larry played and appeared. He has published many jazz-oriented arrangements for school concert bands which can be purchased from Northeastern Music Publications.

Larry resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with three cats (the feline variety).



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Jud Aaron

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This CD is everything that fans have come to expect from Larry McKenna, and more. With extraordinary solos that cement Larry's place among the great jazz improvisers, a lineup of Philly's finest jazz musicians, several marvelous new vocal compositions by the songwriting team of Larry McKenna and Melissa Gilstrap, and a sharp package that includes fabuous artwork and Larry's own liner notes, "Larry McKenna From All Sides" is a must-have!