About the recording:
Call and Response is a fundamental form of human communication. Democratic, and often spontaneous, it's a place where the creative spark leaps from spoken language to musical expression. Music heard in settings as diverse as a church, nightclub, or concert hall often feature aspects of call and response. The duos on this recording for two trumpets or trumpet and piano all have a degree of this spirited dialogue and interplay. Seen from another angle, before the first note is sounded, the players respond to the composer's call, the score beckoning musicians to "come out and play!" Beyond my own excitement in presenting this music lies the hope that these works - heretofore unrecorded - would find both a wider audience and more performers interested in bringing them to life.
I am lucky to have number tremendous musicians to collaborate with on this project: White Pine's superb recording engineer, Scott Topazi, came onto this project the same year that he started a new job at Central Michigan University and I'm so thankful for his great ears and big heart and that he said 'yes' to this project; pianist Zhihua Tang is nothing short of remarkable in her attention to both the details and the spirit of the music; I'm thrilled to have Allan Dean-one of my mentors and heroes-joining me on this recording. Allan and I both studied with a great trumpeter and teacher, J. Robert Hanson, to whom this CD is dedicated.
About the compositions:
I was excited to be able to feature two pieces by former teachers of mine at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Dan Breedon was my music history professor and Thomas Richmond taught theory. Dan's piece was written for me when I was back just across the Red River teaching at North Dakota State University and playing in the Fargo Moorhead Symphony Orchestra. Call and Response was revised several times and finally in 2015 found it's way onto this recording. Thom's Duologue was a piece that had been written in 1979 at the suggestion of Russell Pesola (band director and one of Concordia's the trumpet teachers). I was introduced to the piece by my trumpet teacher, Bob Hanson.
Three of the other pieces on the recording were written by composers who also (or used to) play the trumpet. David Dzubay, John Prescott, and Charles Reskin all write beautifully for our instrument and I love all three of these 3-movement works for trumpet and piano.
The final work on the project is very special to me. I'm probably not alone in thinking that Benny Golson's tune I Remember Clifford is one of the greatest jazz ballads ever written. I was very fortunate to interact with Benny in the years prior to this recording and consulted with him as he wrote this duet on his own great standard. He was inspired to write this new work after being reacquainted with some trumpet duos he wrote in the early 1970's - Two Part Inventions for Two Trumpets - which are currently out of print, but which I hope will be reissued in time. Benny's heart is huge and his music is full of grace and humanity, something that I hope comes through in this recording.
About Brass Ring and this recording:
The Brass Ring Quintet was founded in the mid-1980's with the idea of performing only music that was conceived for brass instruments - no transcriptions of music for other instruments. I joined the group in the mid-1990's, giving many concerts around the United States and Italy, including a concert at the Kennedy Center. The group was responsible for commissioning many new works for brass quintet, from composers including Joseph Schwantner, Roger Kellaway, and the three Pulitzer Prize winning composers on this 1997 recording - Jacob Druckman, David del Tredici, and Ned Rorem.
Neil Mueller, Claire Newbold - trumpets
Laura Klock - horn
Dan Kayser - trombone
Karl Kramer - tuba
About this recording:
This recording, from 1997, was all new music by the Common Sense Composer's Collective. Most of them got their start on the East Coast, but have scattered to various positions around North America. What binds this group together is that they all share an interest in using vernacular music (pop music, television and movie soundtracks, etc.) as material for exploration in their work. The performance are by mixed chamber ensemble.
Dan Becker Gridlock
Ed Harsh accommodating commonplaces
Carolyn Yarnell Sage
John Halle Structural Adjustment
Marc Mellits Polysorbate 60
Melissa Hui Solstice
Belinda Reynolds Over and Out
Randall Woolf My Insect Bride
About this recording:
This is a terrific 2016 recording by my friend and colleague at Central Michigan University, pianist Alexandra Mascolo David. This features new works by Daniel McCarthy, Jose-Luis Maurtua, Jay Batzner, and David Gillingham. The piece that I perform with Alexandra and violinist Camilo da Rosa Simoes, is David Gillingham's Tourbillon (whirlwind) for trumpet, violin, and piano. It is a terrific, evocative chamber piece that was great fun to record.