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!!