Full Spectrum Jazz Big Band

Pursuits

 

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 Catalog ID: SEAB 2139

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   Recording session photos

 Liner Notes

 Track Listing

 

“Besides the clever new arrangements, fine soloist and tight ensemble playing, the Full Spectrum Jazz Orchestra has a sound of its own. This only comes from dedication to the music and having the same goal as a group. The marksmanship from lead trumpeters Dan Hallock and Roger Levinson helps lead the way to the band's sound. Bravo to the Full Spectrum Jazz orchestra for helping to keep the big band tradition alive and moving forward.”

 

The recording sparkles with energy and enthusiasm as the band tackles a wide variety of high-energy charts and arrangements in the Latin style. Whether a fan of pure big band instrumental writing and playing, exciting solos, or big band vocal arrangements that salute and extend the tradition, Pursuits offers everyone something of a musical feast. The commitment to the music and to each other demonstrated by the FSJ Big Band offers good news: the big band is alive and well!

"The Full Spectrum Jazz Big Band has strong soloists. They perform a mix of standards, well-known jazz compositions, and some promising originals. Among the outstanding tracks are the feature for three tenor trombones in Dave Brubeck's "It's a Raggy Waltz" (with some hilarious solos that would have its composer laughing out loud) and the brisk fusion vehicle "This Is Not Here."

"The Full Spectrum Jazz Big Band delivers a riveting and impressive big band sound."

 

"...[FSJ] enjoys a wide variety of music, from bebop to Latin Jazz, fusion and swing, playing with feeling. Featuring talented soloists who openly share their adventures ... the musicians are cohesive and they balance each other well."

 

"Full Spectrum definitely means business when it comes to big band jazz..."

 

1   Au Privave
Composed by Charlie Parker, arranged by Vince Norman
2   No Persigas A Las Mujeres (Don’t go chasing the women)
Composed and arranged by Jon Palacio, Jr.
3   Almost Like Being In Love
Composed by Frederick Loewe, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, adapted by Howard Cespedes
4   Raggy Waltz
Composed by Dave Brubeck, arranged by Ken Miller
5   Sueños (Dreaming)
Composed and arranged by Ruben Salcido
6   The Way You Look Tonight
Composed by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Dorothy Fields, arranged by Wayne Wallace
7   This Is Not Here
Composed by Vince Norman and Clyde Conner, arranged by Clyde Conner
8   Somewhere Out There from "An American Tale"
Composed by James Horner, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil; arranged by Mike Crotty
9   So Many Stars
Composed by Sergio Mendes, lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman; adapted by Howard Cespedes
10   Willowcrest
Composed and arranged by Bob Florence
11   Night in Tunisia
Composed by John Birks (Dizzy) Gillespie, arranged by Ken Miller

 

Liner Notes

Pursuits marks a significant milestone for Full Spectrum Jazz; an exciting set of selections to initiate our journey through variations in Latin style — including Son Montuno, Songo, Mambo, Bolero, Afro-Cuban, and Bossa, as well as a jaunt through a wide range of jazz waltzes, swing, shuffle, ballads, funk, rap, and fusion. This is our third recording, and it also marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of Full Spectrum Jazz. In fact, nine of the musicians on this recording have been playing in the band since before our first recording, which explains the tight ensemble sound.

1  Au Privave           6:31
COMPOSED BY CHARLIE PARKER, ARRANGED BY VINCE NORMAN
SOLOS:  Don Olivet – alto sax,  Todd Gray – trumpet, Walter Bankovitch – piano, Paul Paternoster – tenor sax

“The idea for the ‘Au Privave’ arrangement came from hearing a faculty combo at a Jamey Aebersold camp, ‘way back in 1981. They had a four-horn front with alto sax lead, and trumpet, trombone, and tenor sax playing the harmony. I had a cassette recorder with me, so I was able to actually transcribe part of the recording to use in the big band arrangement.” —Vince Norman

This Full Spectrum Jazz up-tempo swinging treatment of Charlie Parker’s bebop classic ‘Au Privave’ (this arrangement was originally written for the U.S. Army Blues) features a four horn front made up of Ruben Salcido on alto sax, Todd Gray on trumpet, Paul Paternoster on tenor sax and Bill Rhea on trombone. Don Olivet fires the opening solo salvos with his alto sax, followed by Todd Gray on trumpet, Walter Bankovitch on piano, and closing with Paul Paternoster on tenor sax.

2  No Persigas A Las Mujeres (Don't go chasing the women)           9:01
COMPOSED AND ARRANGED BY JON PALACIO, JR.
SOLOS:  Paul Paternoster – tenor sax, Roger Levinson – trumpet, Bill Rhea – trombone, Ruben Salcido – flute, Carlos Almeida – drums, Willie Garza – percussion

“I thought titles of tunes had little or no meaning attached to the music. Little did I realize that we simply needed to know what the composer's process is. My tunes are an autobiographical representation of events that were happening in my life at that moment. It is fitting to see how people chuckle at the title, but still they ask how I came up with it. I've always ranked my priorities in this manner — Soccer, Music, Women. Once in awhile my priority places the women to the top, but I soon realize that it is more fun to be chased by the opposite sex than to chase.” —Jon Palacio, Jr.

‘No Persigas A Las Mujeres’ starts as a Son Montuno 2-3, with an inspired duet and solos by Paul Paternoster on tenor sax and Roger Levinson on trumpet. The band responds with a Songo section starting with only the trombones, then adding the saxes, then the trumpets, before the rhythm section finally joins. Bill Rhea reveals a Latin soul in a trombone solo; then Ruben Salcido shows his Latin roots on his flute. Our Brazilian drummer, Carlos Almeida, and Latin percussionist, Willie Garza, exchange solos before the band joins for a final ‘shout.’

3  Almost Like Being In Love           3:22
COMPOSED BY FREDERICK LOEWE, LYRICS BY ALAN JAY LERNER, ADAPTED BY HOWARD CESPEDES
SOLOS:  Duane Lawrence – vocal, Chuck Wasakanes - tenor sax

 “Duane [Lawrence] asked me to do an adaptation from a Gerald Wilson arrangement for Johnny Hartman.”  —Howard Cespedes

Lerner and Loewe first met in 1942, and in 1947 they had their first hit, Brigadoon, which included the classic romantic ballad ‘Almost Like Being In Love.’ Duane Lawrence delivers the goods on this swinging vocal showcase with a combination of Nat ‘King‘ Cole’s amiable warmth and Frank Sinatra’s sly phrasing filled with a warm romanticism. Chuck Wasakanes is featured on an exhilarating tenor sax solo.

4  Raggy Waltz           3:56
COMPOSED BY DAVE BRUBECK, ARRANGED BY KEN MILLER
FEATURING THE TROMBONE SECTION WITH SOLOS IN ORDER:  Mike Humphrey, Doug Miner, Bill Rhea

Ken Miller arranged this recording’s versions of both ‘Raggy Waltz’ and ‘Night in Tunisia’ (track 11). He notes:  “I wrote these arrangements for a great American institution, the U.S.A.F. Academy Falconaires. I was honored at the time to be asked to arrange them, and  am excited that Full Spectrum wanted to record them again." —Ken Miller

‘It’s a Raggy Waltz’ is a very clever waltz by a jazz legend, Dave Brubeck. Ken Miller arranged Brubeck's composition and created a superb chart featuring the entire trombone section with the tune, and solo space for the three tenor trombones. Mike Humphrey leads the trombone section and opens with the first solo, followed by Doug Miner, with Bill Rhea closing the deal. Steve Barnhill gets some brief solo spaces on the bass trombone. The piece shifts into a big twelve/eight shuffle, before transitioning into a brief double-time swing section and heading home with the final waltz section.

5  Sueños (Dreaming)           4:38
COMPOSED AND ARRANGED BY RUBEN SALCIDO
SOLOS:  Ruben Salcido – alto sax, Andy Scott - flugelhorn

“I wrote the arrangement ‘Sueños’ as my final assignment for David Hardiman’s arranging class at SF City College. I think I was the only one to finish the assignment. I tried to capture the feeling and the sounds of the bands that played in the clubs of pre-Castro Cuba. I'm sure you'll be able to pick out the musical quotes I used in the arrangement. I like to imagine a crowded dance floor with a band playing the music.” – Ruben Salcido

Ruben Salcido has crafted a masterpiece of gigantic proportions with his lush Bolero (the slowest rhythm of the Latin ballroom dances) that includes slow sections surrounding his double-time treatment. There are very few contemporary big band Boleros, and certainly none as exciting and inventive as this one. Andy Scott’s rich flugelhorn is featured as soloist from the beginning and in several other sections of the piece. Ruben plays a delightfully happy up-tempo solo. Listen in particular for Ruben’s gorgeous, tight, harmonic ensemble writing for each of the horn sections.

6  The Way You Look Tonight          4:39
COMPOSED BY JEROME KERN, LYRICS BY DOROTHY FIELDS, ARRANGED BY WAYNE WALLACE
SOLOS:  Duane Lawrence – vocal, Bill Rhea – trombone, Paul Paternoster – tenor sax

“ ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ is a perfect vehicle for a Latin jazz treatment of a popular song. I have always loved the way Tito Puente could take a well-known standard and give it a ‘fresh face.’ My hope is to continue in that tradition.” —Wayne Wallace

This classic was originally sung by Fred Astaire to Ginger Rogers in the film Swing Time, and it won Dorothy Fields and Jerome Kern the Best Song Oscar in 1936. Since then it has become one of the most beloved romantic songs of all time. 'The Way You Look Tonight’  features our vocalist, Duane Lawrence, on this exotic wild dance called the Mambo. Its roots of cross-rhythms and jazzy syncopation, which have been described as ‘Afro-Cuban rhythm with a dash of American swing,’ create incredible polymetric mosaics. It also includes irresistible solos from Bill Rhea on trombone and Paul Paternoster on tenor sax.

7  This Is Not Here           5:21
COMPOSED BY VINCE NORMAN AND CLYDE CONNER, ARRANGED BY CLYDE CONNER
SOLOS:  Mike Cohen – guitar, Chuck Wasekanes – tenor sax

“ ‘This Is Not Here’ is a result of multiple ideas that Clyde Connor and I had entered into a sequencer. A day or so after we finished composing the tune, we were watching a documentary about John Lennon and noticed the words ‘this is not here’ printed on the glass of the front door of his house. We looked at each other and both said, ‘There's the title.’ ” —Vince Norman

Full Spectrum enjoys being able to perform a wide variety of musical styles. ‘This is Not Here’ opens with a brief, building chorale section, capped by the trumpet of Dan Hallock, before transitioning into a double-time fusion rhythm groove in seven led by the drumming of Carlos Almeida, electric bass of John Pursel, baritone sax of Jon Hassan, and bass trombone of Steve Barnhill. The piece transitions through 18 meter changes (including 2, 3, 4, and 7). Featured soloists include Mike Cohen on guitar and a fiery tenor sax solo by Chuck Wasekanes.

8  Somewhere Out There           3:38
COMPOSED BY JAMES HORNER, BARRY MANN AND CYNTHIA WEIL;  ARRANGED BY MIKE CROTTY
SOLOS:  Dan Hallock – trumpet, Mike Cohen – guitar

“Throughout the years that I wrote for the Note, we were constantly looking for current tunes that had a good, recognizable melody, didn't require lyrics, and that might be successful on Community Relations tours. A few movie themes worked for us, and this one was probably the best of all of them. The dynamics and drama that could be created by a big band made up for the fact that no one was singing. It seemed to lend itself best as a lyrical trumpet feature, which had always been part of the programming for the Note. Jimmy Lay was the first trumpet player on the band that I wrote for in this style (he was the soloist on the original 1988 U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note recording of ‘Somewhere Out There’). Later, Bruce Gates filled that capacity. The electric guitar solo was in keeping with the original recording, and the high trumpet melody at the end made the performance exciting — and wasn't high just for the sake of playing high.” —Mike Crotty

Mike Crotty joined the Airmen of Note as chief arranger in early 1973. He wrote over 500 pieces of music while in the Air Force, which are some of the finest works ever performed by big bands. Mike has a distinctive arranging style, and from the 1980s on, it came to define the ‘Airmen of Note sound.’

According to Note leader and tenor saxophonist, Pete BarenBregge, “What made Mike ‘a cut above’ in his approach to writing ... is the way that he would voice or harmonize all of the notes — his style is different from anybody else.”  Instead of giving chords to sections, as is normally the case in big band writing, Mike would spread the chords among different instruments. A sax player might have the same part as a trumpet or a trombone, and maybe the guitar, but not the same as the sax sitting next to him. By voicing that way, he was able to achieve subtle differences in the color of the ensemble sound, giving his arrangements a uniquely identifiable quality. Being in the band for 26 years, Mike also had the luxury of knowing the musicians he was writing for and understanding their capabilities — so he was able to customize the charts to the individual musicians, in much the same manner as the great Duke Ellington was famous for. Mike currently directs the Arizona State University Concert Jazz Band, which is the centerpiece of ASU’s Jazz Studies Program.

‘Somewhere Out There’ is a sensitive ballad that features Dan Hallock with an extensive lyric and soaring trumpet solo, and a guitar solo by Mike Cohen.

9  So Many Stars           6:44
COMPOSED BY SERGIO MENDES, LYRICS BY ALAN BERGMAN &MARILYN BERGMAN; ADAPTED BY HOWARD CESPEDES
SOLOS:  Duane Lawrence – vocal, Ruben Salcido – alto sax

“This adaptation draws much of its inspiration from an arrangement by Rob Mounsey for Natalie Cole.” —Howard Cespedes

This gorgeous Brazilian Bossa is a perfect vocal showcase for the mesmerizing Duane Lawrence. Ruben Salcido takes us to warm climates with his lush alto sax solo.

10  Willowcrest           6:36
COMPOSED AND ARRANGED BY BOB FLORENCE
SOLOS:  Mike Humphrey – trombone, Don Olivet – alto sax

Bob Florence wrote the jazz waltz ‘Willowcrest’ 40 years ago, and this is his third arrangement. We frequently perform it as our opening selection. It features Mike Humphrey on trombone (in his favorite studio-recorded solo), Don Olivet on alto, and the band joins in for a  big ‘shout’ chorus.

11  Night in Tunisia      6:18
COMPOSED BY JOHN BIRKS (DIZZY) GILLESPIE, ARRANGED BY KEN MILLER
SOLOS:  Duane Lawrence – vocal, Chuck Wasekanes – tenor sax, Carlos Almeida – drums, Willie Garza – percussion
ALTERNATING TRUMPET SOLOS:  Dan Hallock, Roger Levinson

Dizzy Gillespie's ‘Night in Tunisia’ was written in 1942, shortly after Dizzy joined the Earl Hines band. Together with Charlie Parker on tenor sax, the band was the first to explore the bebop style. This tour-de-force arrangement explores elements of Afro-Cuban, Rap, and Funk. Solos include vocals by Duane Lawrence, Chuck Wasekanes’ explosive tenor sax, and an extended duet between Carlos Almeida on drums and Willie Garza on percussion. The piece culminates in alternating ever-higher trumpet solos by Roger Levinson and Dan Hallock (Dan would like to acknowledge his trumpet teacher, Wayne Bergeron, who provided his comments for the back cover of the CD).

* indicates the premiere recording

A NOTE from the PRODUCER 
It has been and continues to be an honor to work with this outstanding group of musicians, individuals, and characters. It doesn't feel like ten years have passed since we started this pursuit of great music. I would like to thank the Full Spectrum players and their understanding families for the years of dedication to the ever-evolving project of our band. Special thanks to Tom Carr and the mixing team, who put in many hours and ears; to Dan and Janet Hallock for pulling together the liner notes and graphics, and to Carlos Almeida for being the ‘rock’ of the band. On a personal note, I want to thank Bobby Shew for his guidance over the past few years. He has made it possible for me to achieve my personal goals and has made trumpet playing really fun.  Lastly, and most importantly, thanks Cindy, Rayna, and Nathan — what a blessing you are!

Personnel

TRUMPETS & FLUGELHORNS:
Roger Levinson – Lead Trumpet on Au Privave, Almost Like Being in Love, Sueños, The Way You Look Tonight, Somewhere Out There, So Many Stars, Willowcrest
Dan Hallock – Lead Trumpet on No Persigas a las Mujeres, Raggy Waltz, This Is Not Here, Night in Tunisia
Todd Gray - Trumpet
Andy Scott- Trumpet

WOODWINDS:
Ruben Salcido – Alto Sax, Flute
Don Olivet – Alto Sax, Soprano Sax
Paul Paternoster – Tenor Sax
Chuck Wasekanes – Tenor Sax
Jon Hassan – Baritone Sax, Bass Clarinet

TROMBONES:
Mike Humphrey – Lead Trombone on Au Privave, No Persigas a las Mujeres, Raggy Waltz, Somewhere Out There, Willowcrest
Bill Rhea – Lead Trombone on Almost Like Being in Love, Sueños, This Is Not Here, So Many Stars, Night in Tunisia
Doug Miner - Trombone
Steve Barnhill – Bass Trombone

RHYTHM:
Walter Bankovitch – Piano
Mike Cohen – Guitar
John Pursel – Electric Bass
Carlos Almeida – Drums

VOCALS:
Duane Lawrence

GUEST MUSICIANS:
Jon Palacio, Jr. –  Guest Music Director
Marc Eaman – Trombone – Replaces Mike Humphrey on Sueños, So Many Stars, Night in Tunisia; Lead Trombone on The Way You Look Tonight
Willie Garza – Percussion on No Persigas A Las Mujeres, Sueños, The Way You Look Tonight, So Many Stars, Night in Tunisia
Gena Hassan  – Flute – Somewhere Out There, So Many Stars - Courtesy of the U.S. Army's 91st Division Band, "The Band of the Wild West"

PRODUCED  by Roger Levinson
RECORDED  by Tom Carr
MIXED  by Tom Carr, Dan Hallock, Roger Levinson, Mike Humphrey, Carlos Almeida, Ruben Salcido
MASTERED  by Tom Carr 
Recorded, mixed, and mastered at The Annex, Menlo Park, California

Liner Notes – Dan Hallock and the credited composers and arrangers
Artwork and Layout – Janet Hallock


email: cdinfo@fsjazz.com

Telephone: (408) 891-0426

 

 

 

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