All right, music lovers, I’ve got a few new goodies to share with you. The first is a new CD from euphonium force-of-nature David Bandman. Dave is a former member of the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. He is a phenomenal jazz artist, and a superb recording engineer. Over the course of the last year, Dave has been working on his latest project, “Mendez”, named after the legendary trumpet virtuoso. This isn’t just a rehash of some of the classic solos that Rafael Mendez made famous over the years. Dave composed an entire album of original music inspired by the style and technical wizardry that has captivated audiences for decades.
From the outset, Dave wanted to create a recording that was a complete tour de force. This album is the perfect showcase for Dave’s incredible musicianship and unique skill set. All of the selections are scored for a solo euphonium accompanied by a seven-piece brass ensemble with drum set. I first learned of the project many months ago after a recording session of brass quintet music, when Dave stopped me from packing up my horn, and asked me to read down some tuba parts for him. They were some of the trickiest tuba parts I had played in a long, long time, and they were nothing compared to the insanity in the solo parts. I loved being a part of this project, especially once I found out that I’d already recorded all the hardest stuff first.
You might have guessed that the latest album from D.C. saxophonist Seth Kibel was aimed at a younger audience. It’ll have to be a very young audience, given the title of the album. Seth has faced many challenges of a (ahem) vertical nature during his lifetime. It speaks volumes about the man that he would choose the title “Jazz For People Who Are Shorter Than Me” because people who fit that description are rarely old enough to be gainfully employed. It’s a risk Seth is willing to take, especially when it affords him the chance to have his art design directed by his awesome kids.
Seth recently received the Washington Area Music Association award for Jazz Instrumentalist 2013, the sixth time he’s received this award. Seth plays all over the region, and is one of the most dynamic and energetic performers you will ever meet. He usually performs in a quartet setting, and gets to work with the best bass players D.C. has to offer. I know full well how many great bassists there are in the D.C. area, so I take great pride in having been invited to be a part of this album. The music is a mix of traditional children’s songs, New Orleans jazz, and Seth’s own original compositions.
“Mendez” is now available on iTunes, and from David Bandman’s website. You can even get a little taste of the goodness up front. “Jazz For People Who Are Shorter Than I Am” is available from CDBaby, and from Seth Kibel’s website. Obviously, I’m really excited about both of these releases.
Now it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get the tuba quartet into the studio…