Adam Schroeder & Mark Masters


There are times when a good, hard-charging, swinging big band hits the spot on a cold Chicago morning. That’s exactly what happened when we dropped the needle on CT!, Adam Schroeder & Mark Masters Celebrate Clark Terry. The pitfalls of such an endeavor are many: the trap of rehashing the past, the horror of creating a museum piece, the crime of not swinging. But baritone saxophonist Schroeder and arranger Masters deliver the fresh, the new and the swing in five-gallon buckets. First credit the rhythm section of Edwin Livingston on bass and Peter Erskine on drums. The two veteran West Coast heroes lock it down and knock it out of the park — Livingston walking the bass like a reincarnation of Milt Hinton, Erskine swinging the drums, with the perfect amount of taste and sass, driving the machine. Next, the horn sections deliver beautifully tight work. Add the soloists just kill it. Schroeder is a beast on bari: Just check out the first track, “Serenade To A Bus Seat.” He swoops, sails and swings through the tune. The same holds true for every soloist in this West Coast-based all-star cast. But the biggest star here is the music of the great Clark Terry, lovingly arranged by Masters and joyously played by this 12-piece ensemble. Terry knew how to write for big band. “Groundhog” digs into a blues delight. “Ode To Pres” pays respect to the one and only Lester Young. On “Slow Boat,” you can feel the blues ooze from that band as it pulls at your heartstrings. Terry had a spirit that was unequalled in jazz. Schroeder and Masters thankfully remind us and make it fresh for today.

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August 2024
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