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Album Review

With his debut recording as a leader, trombonist and jazz educator Tom Brantley offers a versatile release, including both established and new compositions and live and studio performances, as well as a variety of different bands. The opening track, "Exemption," is a top-drawer feature for multiple trombones, with Brantley and composer Jerald Shynett as the trombone soloists, accompanied by the trombone section on loan from Chuck Owen & the Jazz Surge in a superb post-bop chart. Brantley has the chops to pull off a marvelous duet of "Stardust" with guitarist LaRue Nickelson. Tenor saxophonist/composer Jack Wilkins (not to be confused with the veteran jazz guitarist) penned the lively "Boneyard," which melds Afro-Cuban and New Orleans funk. From a 2008 concert come several small-group tracks, including a funky quartet setting of "In a Mellotone" with organ, guitar, and drums, plus a subtle adaptation of French composer Camille Saint-Saëns' Adagio. From the same show, trombonist Keith Oshiro is added with piano and bass (in place of the organ) for a breezy arrangement of Randy Weston's popular "Hi-Fly," along with a sauntering New Orleans second-line scoring of Charlie Parker's normally brisk "Confirmation." Highly recommended.


Born: 1970 in Louisiana

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Versatile trombonist Tom Brantley was born in 1970 in South Louisiana surrounded by music and musicians (his parents were both band directors) and he was steadily exposed to a wide array of styles, including classical, jazz, Latin, soul, pop, rock, country, bluegrass, and Cajun. With trombone players running in his family for at least two previous generations, it was more than natural for Brantley to take up the instrument, and he studied it along with jazz at the University of Southern Mississippi...
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Boneyard, Tom Brantley
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