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Jeff Potter
Modern Drummer, November 2016

A notable plus here is trumpet star Freddie Hubbard, …[disc] is a tuneful, rollicking set and a welcome opportunity to enjoy drummer Stu Martin (1938–1980), who, despite an impressive jazz career through the ’60s and 70s, remains underappreciated. The rocket-tempo bopper “Air Mail Special” shows just how hard Martin could kick a big band. He did the same for the orchestras of Maynard Ferguson, Basie, and Ellington. And his formidable small-group credits include dates with Donald Byrd, Art Farmer, and Gary Burton, as well as the avant-garde unit the Trio. This spirited, previously unreleased date is a worthy tribute to Martin’s commanding talents. © 2016 Modern Drummer



Jon Neudorf
Sea of Tranquility, August 2016

At this point in his career, Jones was often the band leader and that is his capacity at this concert. His band is exceptional and play with fervor and gusto. Just the way big band music is meant to be played. Really, all these musicians are masters on their respective instruments. The band included some big known players like trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Benny Bailey and saxophonist Sahib Shihab. The soloists are never far from the thick of things laying down some fabulous notes in the big band fury that is “Air Mail Special”, a Benny Goodman classic, and on the excellent “Stolen Moments” where Hubbard and Eric Dixon absolutely shine on trumpet and tenor sax respectively. © 2016 Sea of Tranquility Read complete review



Bill Milkowski
The Absolute Sound, August 2016

Music:
Sonics:

Beyond the brilliant performances and stellar solos from the likes of trombonists Bob Brookmeyer and Garnett Brown, saxophonists Joe Farrell and Jerome Richardson, and trumpeters Jimmy Owens, Jimmy Nottingham, and Jones himself, you get the supercharged ambiance. You actually hear the exuberance ’and joy on the bandstand as the musicians laugh, shout out, and encourage each other during solos, You really get the sense of being right there in that subterranean room in the heart of Greenwich Village on a night when the band was cooking on all burners… © 2016 The Absolute Sound



Owen Cordle
The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), June 2016

There’s electricity throughout the album as the ensemble and the soloists charge into Jones’ arrangements with the kind of exuberance musicians feel and convey when everything’s going right and no one wants the performance to end. © 2016 The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) Read complete review




Dan Bilawsky
All About Jazz, June 2016

The band delivers a sundry selection of music over the course of this program, with full tilt swing, melt-your-heart balladry, spicy sounds, and more in the mix. There are welcome opportunities to hear jazz giants in solo flight, witness tight displays of section cohesion, and observe marvels in arranging. Some gems clock in at less than three minutes—a beautiful “Solitude” featuring underappreciated trombonist Melba Liston, a cooking and kicking “Caravan” focused on Julius Watkins’ French horn—while others, such as an appropriately bluesy “Stolen Moments” and a highly energetic “Lester Leaps In,” run north of the ten minute mark. © 2016 All About Jazz Read complete review



Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, April 2016

It’s interesting to hear full-band arrangements of some of these pieces that are normally known to jazz buffs as small-group vehicles…

This is a heck of a CD and a good sound picture of exciting jazz in the era just before it all splintered into several different directions including free-form and funk. © 2016 The Art Music Lounge | An Online Journal of Jazz and Classical Music Read complete review





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