Tag Archive | "jazz"

That’s Swingin’!

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Brian Pastor is one of the premier trombonists in the universe.  He is the Principal Trombonist with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops.  In 1994, as a vehicle for professional musicians to play big band jazz music and provide a showcase for great jazz soloists, arrangers and composers, he founded The Brian Pastor Big Band (BPBB), comprised of outstanding musicians from the Philadelphia/South Jersey area.  Included among his roster of musicians are saxophonists Kaj Hansen, Bob Apgar, Andrew Neu, Ed Etkins, Alan Kirschner, and Dan Muller; Jay Shanman, Paul Morris, and Mike Purday along with the Band’s founder and leader on trombone; and Rick Gazda, Chuck Gottesman, Kevin Rogers, and Peter Neu on trumpet.  Piano, bass, drums, and guitar are handled by Dave Kenney, Rob Cochran, Tony Vigilante, and Nick Bucci respectively.


The highlights of a BPBB concert include diverse arrangements and original compositions, a fantastic ensemble sound, unbelievable soloists, stratospheric trumpet notes and, of course, the supreme trombone master, Brian Pastor.


BPBB’s first CD Common Men was released in June 2006.  Some of the outstanding tunes on the CD are It’s Alright With Me, Fanfare for The Common Man, Little Henry, Midnight Buffet and Make Someone Happy (featuring a Brian Pastor vocal).


If you enjoy listening to a roaring and swinging big band, then get the Common Men CD and come to a BPBB concert where Brian will personally autograph the CD.  Currently, the band is performing at The Casino Deli in Northeast Philadelphia.  If you are interested, you can check the BPBB website.

Sax Sounds of CSQ

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clazzical-saxophone-quartetSouth Jersey is home to saltwater taffy, sweeping beaches, and a lesser-known gem: a musical group deserving of wider recognition.  One of the premier saxophone quartets in the world, The Clazzical Saxophone Quartet (CSQ) plays highly diverse genres, including jazz, classical, rock n’ roll, R&B, show tunes, and other forms of music.  With a tight sound that harmoniously blends all the right chords, the band’s repertoire boasts fantastic covers of Dizzy Gillespie’s Night in Tunisia and Gershwin’s Fascinating Rhythm as well as a wonderful rendition of Bach’s Minuet in G.   Honoring the history of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, and other mighty monarchs of swing-jazz, CSQ drives the vibrant, hot-cool sounds of contemporary American music.  Their classical performances, however, demonstrate a reverence befitting the rich and enduring tradition of subtler but no less moving music.  A CSQ performance leaves audiences with wide-ranging musical experiences that beg the question, “Where can I hear these guys again?”


CSQ’s four saxophonists are Bill Kiel on alto and soprano saxes, Scott Steven Merritt, master of baritone sax and bass clarinet, Tim Pletcher, who blows alto sax, and William Murray Jr. on tenor sax.   Demonstrating a wealth of experience blending technical expertise with the creativity of tightly-jammed sets, the four musicians have played with musical luminaries and performers including Tony Bennett, Bob Hope, Lyle Mays, Richie Cole, The Stylistics, The Manhattans, Neil Sedaka, Louie Bellson, Lionel Hampton, New York Voices, and Randy Brecker, among others.  As individual musicians, each member of the CSQ is a gifted saxophone player.  Together, they have created one of the hottest saxophone ensembles ever seen in the South Jersey, or for that matter any area.


For further information concerning the CSQ, including future venues where you can enjoy them live, please go to http://www.myspace.com/clazzicalsaxophonequartet.

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