Hi all – hope you’re keeping cool on this increasingly warm planet, and solvent amidst default, both monetary and ethical alike! It’s been a good while since I’ve done a newsletter and so many things have happened since the last one. Herein a few of the most notable:
UNSUNG HEROES – 5 STAR REVIEW IN DOWNBEAT!
My Unsung Heroes recording project continues to gain plaudits from the critics. One of the most notable of these appeared in the July 2011 issue of Downbeat, arguably still the most prestigious jazz publication extant.Reviewer Eric Fine gave Unsung Heroes the honor of its highest possible rating, the coveted 5 stars. This is my first 5 star rating, and in my experience very rare for a “straight ahead” jazz CD in this day and age. Thanks to Eric and Downbeat for this recognition of UH’s quality!
Unsung Heroes has been getting good reviews all around. If you’d like to sample some of the critical opinion, I’ve pulled some of it together here:
UH PLAY ALONGS NOW AVAILABLE, AUDIO STEMS COMING
I’m still chipping away at the mountain of additional Unsung Heroes content to come, but some significant progress has been made! I’m happy to announce that all the Unsung Heroes Vol. 1 play alongs are ready for download through the website and Bandcamp page. They’re available for all the Unsung Heroes instrumentation as well as being suitable for other axes such as trombone and guitar. Play along with the original performance as recorded, or stretch out for more choruses with alternate versions cutting out the other horn solos! Charts for your instrument are included. You can download UH playalongs here:
I’m happy to report success in my trial run on the Unsung Heroes audio stem project, and I will be getting these multi track audio file versions up for download as soon as possible! We are going to have some fun with these. Cryptic? – perhaps, but stay tuned….
DOWNBEAT CRITICS POLL 2011
More recognition from Downbeat, this time of a more personal nature, came in the August issue of the magazine with the release of the 2011 International Critics Poll. The collective of journalists and critics gave me my highest ever placing of #3 in the Trumpet category! Thanks to all the writers for their recognition of my continuing efforts.
A short anecdote: When I first was with the Horace Silver Quintet in 1983,the great Eddie Harris came by the Hollywood club where we were playing atwo week engagement (sure would like to have one of those now!). Eddie, whoI had known and idolized since I was a teenager, complimented me and theband, but then asked me how old I was. When I replied “26”, he thought for amoment, and then said: “You’ll be alright. The hardest part is when you’re between 25 and 60. That’s when you’re too old to be a prodigy and too young to be a living legend.” Those words were a bit dismaying at 26, but they feel a bit more comforting at (almost) 55…
Brian Appointed Professor Of Jazz Trumpet at University Of Miami
I’m proud and honored to announce this next phase of my educational side with my joining the faculty of the Frost School Of Music at the University Of Miami starting this fall. Under the dynamic direction of Dean Shelly Berg (a wonderful jazz pianist in his own right) and Jazz Studies Director Whit Sidener, the Frost School boasts one of the premier university jazz programs in the country. I am looking forward to taking the teaching concepts I’ve developed during my tenures at New York University, the Prinz Claus Conservatory, and in my many years of private instruction to Miami and expanding my knoweldge together with my students and fellow faculty. While maintaining our New York residence and my artistic presence there, my wife and I will be also enjoying what Miami has to offer (such as the weather right around January and February).
I salute you if you’ve scrolled this far down the page! All for now -there’s some news I have about some special upcoming performances that I’ll let you know about in a separate message.