Mintzer Mania!

I have been for­tu­nate in my musical life to play with many extra­or­di­nary musi­cians. I’m often asked what my favorite band or musi­cian has been to play with. So many come to mind immediately.…anything Rob Mounsey writes, Frank Sinatra, all the vir­tu­osic jazz musi­cians and brass players in New York, Buddy Rich, Bill Reichen­bach and on a cer­tain level, even the Rolling Stones. But I can hon­estly say if I had only one gig left to play for the rest of my life, it would be with the great Bob Mintzer and his incred­ible big band.

I con­sider myself excep­tion­ally lucky to have been a part of Bob’s band for the past 25 years and recorded on a dozen or so of his projects. I know this term gets tossed around quite casu­ally these days, but Bob Mintzer is a genius. Playing his music is the essence of why I became a musi­cian in the first place and I am very grateful to him for the years and years of inspi­ra­tion. I was 16 years old when my dad gave me a copy of Buddy Rich’s Plays and Plays and Plays album for Christmas. I put it on imme­di­ately and was bedaz­zled by this incred­ible com­po­si­tion called Tales of Rhoda Rat by some guy named Bob Mintzer. I believe I wore that track out on the LP by the fol­lowing Valentine’s Day.

This past fall, Bob assem­bled his usual prodi­gious cast of char­ac­ters for his latest project called Get Up! A col­lec­tion of bril­liant com­po­si­tions and arrange­ments inspired by the r & b music Bob lis­tened to as a young­ster. James Brown, Tower of Power, Sam & Dave, Sly & the Family Stone, The Ohio Players, you’ll hear them all brought to life through the pen of the mae­stro. I felt like a kid in a candy shop sit­ting in the middle of this band recording exquisite music, sur­rounded by a sea of vir­tuosi including Will Lee, Will Kennedy, Russ Fer­rante, Tony Kadleck, Scott Wend­holt, Keith O’Quinn, Bob Malach, Lawrence Feldman and the man him­self, Mr. Bob Mintzer. If you want your musical socks to roll up and down in a way they  never have before, I implore you to pick up a copy of Bob Mintzer’s Get Up! in a couple weeks when it is released. Enjoy!!

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