I am subbing at “Beautiful” the Carole King Musical, all weekend on Broadway in New York City with my buddy Tatum Greenblatt.
The goal for me this weekend is to sound as “commercial” as possible. One of my favorite trumpet players (who shall go nameless) gave me some tips on how to achieve a commercial sound.
I don’t want to give away his secrets, but I did have to slap on a smaller mouth piece (bach 12c) to help me get that commercial sizzle, à la James Pankow from Chicago (one of my favorite “commercial” trombonists). I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend playing Carole King’s Music.
As Duke Ellington said, “Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don’t want it.” On March 28th at 7pm at The Bitter End, CompCord Big Band runs amok on a program featuring over a dozen perilous premieres. Adhering to the original Big Band concept of brief arrangements presented in quick tandem, while expanding the repertory with all new compositions for the 21st Century, CompCord Big Band features many iconic instrumentalists, as well as up-and-coming stars: Gerson Galante, Michiyo Suzuki, Daniel Schnyder, Scott Hoefling, Stefan Zeniuk – saxophones; Franz Hackl, Jonathan Finlayson, Peter Oswald, Jack Walrath – trumpets; John Clark – horn; Mike Seltzer, Jason Jackson – trombones; David Taylor – bass trombone; Carlton Holmes – piano; Laurence Goldman – bass; Joe Abba – drums; with Melanie Mitrano – voice; Sebastian Pritsker – voice; Bian Suzuki-Wolf – clarinet; and Gene Pritsker – conductor. Compositions by Aaron Alter, John Clark, Dan Cooper, Gerson Galante, Franz Hackl, Carlton Holmes, Peter Melnick, Melanie Mitrano, Ginka Mizuki, Alon Nechushtan, Gene Pritsker, Sebastian Pritsker, Zinovy Pritsker, Daniel Schnyder, Dave Soldier, David Taylor, and Stefan Zeniuk.
Staying in rotation for 34 years in NYC is a rare feat. In the case of a new music presenting organization, it requires not only diligence and cognizance of achievements of the past, but also an ethic of keeping one’s ear to the ground for emerging stylistic and technological developments, as well as talented new composers on the scene. Composers Concordance strives to present contemporary music in innovative ways, with an emphasis on thematic programming. Directors Gene Pritsker and Dan Cooper co-curate the programs, and lead the CompCord Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, String Orchestra, and Big Band. Associate Directors are Milica Paranosic, Peter Jarvis, Svjetlana Bukvich, and Debra Kaye. Composers Concordance has also created a Naxos-distributed record label: Composers Concordance Records, co-directed by Peter Jarvis. Composers Concordance’s overriding vision is to promote contemporary music, composers, and new works as a rightful and respected part of society. Good music, performed and recorded well, pushing the boundaries of sound and composition.
“An unwavering force in giving composers exposure through concert bookings and its own record label, the intrepid new-music organization Composers Concordance” -The Brooklyn Rail. “For the past 30 years, Composers Concordance has been a booster for local composers, through both its concerts across the city and a record label.” -The Wall Street Journal. “Enterprising new music organization” -The New York Times. “The Composers Concordance folks are unpredictable and at times refreshingly irreverent in a reverent sort of way….ingenious fun” -Classical-Modern Music Review. “Edgy… boisterous… demanding our attention” -San Diego Story. “These men and women are creating exciting music with elements of jazz, world music and many experimental techniques blended with equal parts classical tradition and playing techniques.” -Asbury Park Press. “There is considerable evidence to show that Composers Concordance may be one of the most exciting labels in American contemporary music.” -JazzdaGama.
Digital downloads available at Band Camp, Amazon, and iTunes.
Downbeat Magazine: “Reeves arrives at his sound – modern metric ideas, sweetly stacked harmonies that move in surprising directions, atypical musical alliances – by utilizing the full scope of his playing experience.” (Suzanne Lorge)
London Jazz News: “His new release, Without a Trace, contains originals and standards, colourfully orchestrated, with an intimate, club-like ambience. These pieces really are ‘composed’…there is always a feeling of forward travel.” (Nigel Waddington)
New York City Jazz Record: “This is an excellent example of both modern big band music and the arranging of Reeves.” (Scott Yanow)
Jazz Times: “Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra is a wonder…hot compositions…a sizzling band…an assemblage of brilliant artists…the music is exciting, even thrilling.” (Travis Rogers)
All About Jazz: “Reeves is a resourceful writer with…a keen ear for melody, harmony and counterpoint, his arrangements scrupulously burnished and invariably engaging.” (Jack Bowers)
Stereophile: “Within the highly specialized, invaluable, economically endangered discipline of composing and arranging for large jazz ensemble, a new badass has arrived. Reeves’s touch is always deft and light, his designs traced in fine lines.” (Thomas Conrad)
Personnel for this event is:
Scott Reeves – director, composer/arranger, alto trombone Vocalist – Carolyn Leonhart Saxophones – Vito Chiavuzzo, Jay Brandford, Tim Armacost, Rob Middleton, Terry Goss Trumpets – Seneca Black, Nathan Eklund, Chris Rogers, Andy Gravish Trombones – Matt McDonald, Jason Jackson, Matt Haviland, Jennifer Wharton Rhythm – Jim Ridl (piano), Todd Coolman (bass), Andy Watson (drums)
Since my last post I have been busy with concerts and teaching. Here is a rundown of my latest and future projects.
This is my second year at Riverdale County School. Teaching enriches my playing and satisfies my urge to pass along knowledge to the next generation. The faculty/staff at RCC is top notch.
It has been years since I last played with the Birdland Big Band. What a welcome experience it was to join them again recently. The band has evolved over the years. The trombone section was out of sight with Sarah Jacovino on Lead, Ron Wilkins, and James Browski on bass trombone. I hope to be back there again soon.
Since the closure of Carousel, I am back to “subbing” on various musicals. I was back to one of the most enjoyable shows that I sub at, The Lion king.
I played at Birdland for the CD release of Migiwa Miyagima’s Augmented Orchestra. We recorded the CD last year and I am excited for its release. She packed the house at Birdland and the music sounded fantastic. My mom came out to this one so it was special for me. She lives on the “Left Coast,” so I don’t get to see her everyday.
Rufus Reid’s “Quiet Pride” project took me to Iowa City, IA. The music was challenging and the band delivered an exciting performance. I was impressed with he playing of Ryan Keberly and Michael Dease. Monster players and monster band.
Ron Carters Great Big Band performed at Birdland as well. Mr. Carter takes you on a ride when you are playing with him. He will do something you don’t expect. That is why I love playing in his band. What an honor!!
We had a wonderful concert with the John Eckert New York 9 Nonet at St Peters Church, Manhattan, NY. This is where I have been focus some of my writing lately. This band regularly plays my compositions and arrangements. We have been together for several years and the band is really developing a strong personal sound.
Next week I am busy with The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. First I am taking over the Lead Trombone Position in the band moving forward. Second, we are beginning the New School Residency with an Open Rehearsal on October 29th from 4-6pm, at 55 west 13th St (2nd Floor). The band will be rehearsing various charts from the book, as well as instituting an emerging composer series.
Third, after the open rehearsal, we pack up and head over to the Village Vanguard for our regular set this Monday, October 29th. Sets are at 8:30PM and 10:30PM. Finally on Saturday, November 3rd, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra Brings Big-Band Swing to Lawrence Memorial Chapel, 510 E. College Avenue, Appleton Wisconsin, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Next month I will be recording with the NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath as he puts together another big band album, subbing at the Radio City Musical Hall Christmas Spectacular, and eating lots of “healthy” food for the Holidays.
The Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra celebrates the release of their 2nd CD, “Without a Trace,” at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola on Monday, Sept. 3 (sets at 7:30 & 9:30). Scott’s arrangements and compositions for “Without a Trace,” along with the 2016 release, “Portraits and Places,” span 18 years and embody a life’s work. Check out this profile of the band in the August issue of “Downbeat.”
Since 2008, Flushing Town Hall’s QueensJazz Orchestra, under the direction of NEA Jazz Master Dr. Jimmy Heath, has performed to thousands of jazz lovers, honoring music made popular by jazz icons who called Queens their home, featuring established jazz heroes and the next generation of greats.
This special 10th anniversary celebration on Friday, June 29 at Flushing Town Hall will honor Jimmy Heath and his life’s journey through jazz. Tickets and more at http://bit.ly/QJO2018
Join us this week, July 18-23 at the Blue Note jazz club in New York City. Paquito D’Rivera leads an all-star big band of Dizzy Gillespie alumni and world-class jazz artists. We will be for performing some of Dizzy Gillespie’s most famous works as well as samba Jazz and Cuban jazz for your enjoyment.
Joining us for the set will be the Grammy nominated artist Roberta Gambarini singing some beautiful selections from the Dizzy Gillespie repertoire.
There are strict rules governing when a substitute musician is allowed to play on with a Broadway orchestra. One of the rules is that in a given section, if there is a 1st time sub, all the other musicians in that section must be a regular member OR a substitute that has been designated “as good as the regular player.”
Usually a person is not designated until they have played the show quite a number of times. In my case, I’ve played the show three times and tonight I was playing in the section with a first time lead trumpet player.
Although playing with a 1st time lead trumpeter can be nerve wrecking, I took it as a compliment to my playing. All went very well.
Join our weekly gig at the Village Vanguard.
We will perform the compositions of Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely and others from our library of over 300 tunes!
Sets 8:30pm and 10:30pm. Door open 7:30