Monday, July 11, 2011

Clayton's Latest; An H2 Debut; Rapson's New Project - Bob Stewart

A 2010 Downbeat Magazine Critic's Poll Rising Star, pianist and composer Gerald Clayton has been steadily honing his craft since high school. With the release of his Grammy-nominated debut CD in 2009, Clayton began to make his mark as a leader in the jazz community. His dynamic sound has been praised by publications such as Jazz Times, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. His second disc as a leader -- "Bond: The Paris Sessions" -- features his trio mates Joe Sanders on bass and Justin Brown on drums, providing him with the vehicle to explore and expand on his own vision of the music.

"You're It" is the debut release from the H2 Big Band out of Denver, Colorado, a collaboration of trumpeter Al Hood and pianist/composer/arranger Dave Hanson. It features world-class soloists and players from the Mile High City and beyond, including veterans from the bands of Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Artie Shaw and Toshiko Akiyoshi. Trumpet legend Bobby Shew is also in the spotlight, playing on all the tracks as either soloist, lead player, or section trumpeter. Hanson offers up a program of originals and his unique arrangements of tunes by Miles Davis, Clifford Brown and Cy Coleman.

John Rapson, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Iowa, has unveiled his latest project -- "Mystery and Manners: the Improvisations of Vinicius and Nene" -- featuring Brent Sandy, Chris Merz and Drew Morton.

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