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Trumpets - The Transformation

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Album Review

The goal of Trumpets is to re-create famous trumpet solos in an ensemble setting with a quartet of accomplished trumpeters (leader Mike Vax, Warren Gale, Steve Campos, and Bob Doll) who are equally at home on flugelhorn, accompanied by a potent rhythm section. But this CD is more than just a textbook expansion of the original recordings, as the musicians have some imaginative ideas of their own to contribute. It's hard not to like the blend of "Louis Meets the Bird," which interweaves "Donna Lee" with "(Back Home Again in) Indiana" (a logical pairing since the older piece's chord structure inspired the creation of Parker's bop classic); there's also the always exciting "A Night in Tunisia" and Shorty Roger's rousing "Short Stop." There are a few disappointments: "Day by Day," not because of the horns, but because of the choice of the wimpy Yamaha DX-7 over the grand piano, as well the rather bland "Night of the Capricorn Moon" and "Trumpet Blues and Cantabile," a would be swinger bogged down by the cheesy electric keyboard. Obviously, a lot of effort went into the creation of this CD, and fans of first caliber trumpeters will not be disappointed with the results.

Trumpets - The Transformation, Mike Vax
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