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Mike Tucker | Collage

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Jazz: Bebop Jazz: Jazz Fusion Moods: Type: Improvisational
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by Mike Tucker

The Mike Tucker Quartet is emerging as one of the most dynamic and exciting groups in the Northeast -- a forward-thinking group that draws its inspiration not only from past jazz masters, but also from current forms of popular and world music.
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Fanfare
5:54 $0.99
2. Kathy
7:37 $0.99
3. The Hey Man Tenor Club
5:11 $0.99
4. 70's
5:58 $0.99
5. New Orleans
8:51 $0.99
6. Bird Lives
4:22 $0.99
7. Double Mambo
6:55 $0.99
8. Space # 1
5:47 $0.99
9. Space # 2
5:21 $0.99
10. Mbira
8:16 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Mike Tucker Quartet is emerging as one of the most dynamic and exciting groups in the Northeast -- a forward-thinking group that draws its inspiration not only from past jazz masters, but also from current forms of popular and world music. The MTQ captivates its audiences with energetic, inspired performances.

With a recent nomination for "Best Jazz Act of 2005" from the Boston Music Awards, and Performances in Costa Rica, France, and The Kennedy Center in D.C The Mike Tucker Quartet is a group to watch.

Quotes and Reviews

"Mike Tucker is a great young saxophonist with a mature approach, warm sound and stunning  technique".
-Michael Brecker

"The Greater Boston area has a proud history of producing world class jazz musicians, and mike tucker is Probably the brightest saxophonist to come along in years. He brings to his music an aura of focused emotional intensity, letting his soul shine through every note he plays on his horn.

-Frank John Hadley , Down Beat Columnist, and Grove Press author

"The Mike Tucker Quartet is musically adept and engaging.....Tucker is a young composer with talent to spare.....The improvisational skills- especialy those of Tucker and Genovese are top -notch"
-Katie Debonvile, Performer Magazine, September 2004


At an early age Mike's talent and creativity were clearly apparent. He began playing his saxophone at age 11 and by fifteen he was playing professionally. Mike's abilities were soon recognized -- before graduating high school he was chosen to play first Tenor in the "Massachusetts All State Jazz Band", the "All New England Grammy Band", and the "All Eastern Jazz Ensemble". These experiences brought him to be accepted into the Jazz program at William Patterson University in New Jersey where he studied under Rufus Reed, Steve Wilson, and Gary Smulyan.

Due to long hours of practice and misuse of his body while playing, Mike developed a severe case of tendonitis. Unable to play, Mike found himself dedicated to finding a long-term solution to his problem. He came upon a method called the "Alexander Technique" which taught him how to use his body in a more efficient way. With the inspiration of his Alexander Technique teacher, Rica Cohen, he decided to enroll in a three-year, 1600-hour, intensive training course to become a teacher of the technique himself. After practicing the technique for about a year he was able to continue focusing on his career in music

In January of 2002 Mike auditioned at the Berklee College of Music in Boston where he was awarded a full-tuition scholarship. Soon after, he was chosen to compete as one of fifteen semifinalists from around the globe in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Saxophone Competition. This competition is held every five years at the Smithsonian Baird Auditorium in Washington, D.C., and was aired on B.E.T. (Black Entertainment Television). The panel of judges included Wayne Shorter, Joshua Redman, George Coleman Don Braden and James Spaulding.

In the summer of 2002 Mike hit the road with the New Orleans based band "Brotherhood of Groove". Highlights of that tour included the Fairfax World Music Festival, the North Beach Jazz Festival in San Francisco, the House Of Blues in New Orleans, and The Boom Boom Room in San Francisco.

The following summer Mike toured with the Boulder Colorado-based band "The Motet", performing across the country. Highlights included opening for Tom Petty and Neil Young at the Aspen Jazz Festival and an appearance at the Berkshire Mountain Music Festival.

While studying at Berklee, Mike was selected to join a quintet under the direction of Gary Burton, which recorded a full-length album of original material. The five-day recording session was produced by Gary, together with Pat Metheny. It is currently being shopped to several major jazz labels. Soon after the session, Mike toured the East coast as a featured soloist with High Note recording artist Melvin Sparks.

Summer 2004 brought Mike to Japan with the Dennis Frehse Quartet under the sponsorship of Berklee College of Music. The quartet played the Phoenix Jazz Festival in Kobe and Nagoya, as well as smaller venues in Kyoto and Osaka.

In September of 2004, Mike had the honor of being the featured tenor saxophonist at a concert celebrating Michael Brecker's honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music.

2005 has been a big year for Mike and his quartet, including appearances in Costa Rica as part of the "Emerging Artists of the 21st Century" concert series; a concert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.; and a night at the JVC Jazz Festival in New York City. Mike has also appeared as a featured soloist at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, with the Esperanza Group; the Caramoor Jazz Festival, with the Francisco Mela Quartet; and at the Berklee Performance Center with members of the Yellowjackets.

Recently nominated for a Boston Music Award, Mike Tucker was featured in the October 2005 JazzTimes magazine. Mike is leading his quartet in a European tour which includes a performance at the Nancy Jazz Festival in France.



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All About Jazz

Mike Tucker's debut proves itself an exceptionally strong introduction to an upc
There's always room on the jazz scene for young talent, even in the tried and true saxophone-plus-rhythm-section format. Tenor saxophonist Mike Tucker received a full scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in 2002; he was also chosen to compete in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition the same year. After three years-plus of formal education and more than a decade of professional work—including a Gary Burton/Pat Metheny recording project—Tucker has released his debut CD as a leader, Collage.

The recording opens with the Tucker-penned piece “Fanfare,” the only quintet tune on the disc, featuring trumpeter Eric Bloom. Tucker and Bloom coax warm tones from their respective horns, and after some uptempo unison work, Bloom takes a bright and buoyant solo, with the rhythm guys crackling behind him. Tucker doesn't step out until nearly three minutes in, but it's worth the wait. He blows with a full-bodied sound, creating a smooth and articulate flow of interesting ideas.

Collage is full of inspired blowing, and Tucker stands out as a songwriter. Nine of the ten tunes are Tucker originals, ranging from the funky “New Orleans” to the straightahead “Fanfare,” the pretty ballad “Kathy” and the fusion-like “Space #1 & #2.” The disc closes out with the ethereal and plaintive “Mbira.” Mike Tucker's debut proves itself an exceptionally strong introduction to an upcoming young saxophonist/songwriter.

Review From All About Jazz .com

George W. Carroll/The Musicians' Ombudsman

Mike Tucker!!!! Remember that name!
Mike Tucker!!! Remember that name! Because for all his youth, he's a reedman all will have to reconcile with as time evolves. The combined talents of Mike & his fine group.....Plus, the wonderful engineering & mixing job executed by my buddy
Peter Kontrimos of PBS Studios/Westwood, Mass rounds out a project that can only be expressed as a ' ''10.'' Mike has paid his dues, & for all his 26-yrs,
he knows his way around the bebop idiom in a ''Bird-Like'' fashion. Tucker's solo style can be described (subjectively) as highly intellectual & articulate, yet he covers a whole spectrum of style from bebop & swing to the contemporary. His melodic lines give the impression that he carefully sculpts his ideas. I predict Mike to emerge as a strong, flexible, & creative player of reeds with a persistent effect on our sensibilities such that one will tend to not forget him. Check him out!!

George W. Carroll/The Musicians' Ombudsman

This article comes from eJazzNews.com : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net


Wonderful Sound!!!
We popped the disc in the CD player and boy were we happy!! We sat by the pool and listened to Mike with some of the smoothest jazz. Congratulations Mike and all of the backup folks. To think....we knew you before you played the sax.