Just One of Those Things

Rob Parton

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Just One of Those Things Review

by Scott Yanow

The big-band era may be more than 60 years in the past and big bands are not going to "come back," but the number of part-time stage bands playing in the U.S. remains a very impressive number. Usually headed by an arranger and somewhat inspired by Stan Kenton, the orchestras might perform in public once a month and if they are fortunate they record once a year, with the musicians spending much of the time working elsewhere (including sometimes out of music altogether). Trumpeter Rob Parton has been leading his Jazztech Big Band since 1984 and has made a steady series of rewarding recordings. He does not arrange himself but he has a large book of exciting charts. On Just One of Those Things, which was recorded on different dates in 2005 and 2007 (Parton's drummer, pianist, and one of his altoists and trombonists changed in the meantime), has arrangements by Tom Garling, Paul McKee, Tom Matta, Don Schamber, Chris Madsen, and the late Frank Mantooth. "Infant Eyes" and Mantooth's reworking of "You've Changed" are features for Parton, who surprisingly does not hit any high notes on those showcases, instead taking very credible jazz solos. Among the other musicians who are well featured are tenor saxophonist Mark Colby, trombonists Tim Coffman and Tom Garling, trumpeter Terry Cornell, and pianist Jo Ann Daugherty. While the overall music may not be all that innovative, the music swings, the arrangements are modern, and the soloists are all top-notch. Fans of current big bands will find this of strong interest.

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