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Take Only for Pain

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Album Review

The Boulevard Big Band, which was founded in 1988, is a first-class local jazz orchestra based in Kansas City. A part-time affair, it nevertheless features top-notch musicians, challenging but swinging arrangements, and occasional guest soloists. On Take Only for Pain, flugelhornist Tom Harrell, tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb and pianist-arranger Frank Mantooth guest on two songs apiece. As welcome as they are, the band is pretty strong even without the illustrious guests. Trombonist Steve Dekker is a potentially major soloist, Hal Melia on soprano and alto is impressive, tenorman Bill Caldwell battles Christlieb to a draw on the heated "Tenor Tantrum," and drummer Todd Strait drives the band. Many other soloists get in their spots (including Wayne Hawkins on synth during the funky blues "Workahol") and all are worthy. With charts provided by Mantooth, Dekker, Melia, Chuck Tumlinson, Dave Aaberg, and Tim Brewer, the music is fresh even when the song is a familiar standard. A particular joy is hearing trumpeters Aaberg and Tumlinson match ideas and chops on a revival of the Red Rodney-Sam Noto piece "Superbop." Recommended.

Take Only for Pain, The Boulevard Big band
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: May 25, 2004

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