Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass


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Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass add a few surprises to these 1994 sessions. Opening with McConnell's blues "Overtime," with an obvious nod to pianist Ray Bryant's "After Hours," guitarist Ed Bickert comes out of the woodwork to play a blues-drenched solo with much more volume than one is used to hearing from him on record. Clark Terry's sassy blues "Hawg Jawz" chugs along with strong solos by trumpeter Steve McDade and tenorist John Johnson. McConnell's swinging setting of the standard "Stella by Starlight" is a feature for flügelhornist Guido Basso, with solo help from Bickert and pianist Dave Restivo. The understated setting of "Alone Together" showcases McConnell and Bickert with bass and drums initially, with the remainder of the band gradually added. Moe Kaufman's rich alto sax is the focal point of McConnell's lush ballad "After You." The leader's "This May Be Your Lucky Day" is a salute to tenor saxophonists Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, who had a running gag on club dates playing at the bottom range of their horns on one number. This valuable part of Rob McConnell's discography lapsed from print a few years after its appearance, so it will become increasingly difficult to acquire.

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