Bob Mintzer is without doubt one of the eminent legends in contemporary jazz. One of my greatest joys as a jazz lover was when I snatched him out (three years ago), playing as an invited guest for the Luxembourg Jazz Orchestra, conducted by local trumpeter Ernie Hammes.
Mintzer is also a great conductor and has many grammy award nominations in his own right. His work is always of high quality and done with amazing precision.
His latest work of art with his big band, Old School: New Lessons, was recorded live at the Manchester Craftsman's Guild in Pittsburgh between 2004 and 2005. Mintzer’s legendary band, "The Yellowjackets", escorts this jazz genius on two opuses: "Mofongo" and "Mosaic." On "Mofongo", Mintzer displays a quandary of euphonies with his EWI. "Mosaic" bursts wide open with Russell Ferrante on the piano.
"Not Quite Yet" is a brandish composition in which soloist Phil Markowitz slightly buffs with the handle all the way along, whereas Mintzer’s tenor saxophone captivates us as always. David Taylor on the bass trombone plays rowdy notes.
Amazing singer, Kurt Elling, enchants us with his fabulous and unique baritone scat on "My One And Only Love" and Coltrane's composition "Resolution." "Runferyerlife" takes us by surprise with an imposing John Riley’s thrumming. "Black Sand" features a noteworthy trumpet solo by Terell Stattford. Mintzer’s tenor is boasting.
Once again, Bob Mintzer enthrals crowds with his extraordinary sense of orchestration, rooted in the big band legacy. Mintzer’s print is definitely in the courtyard of luminaries. Excellent artwork!