Conte Candoli

The Complete Phoenix Recordings, Vol. 1

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Small groups with a front line of only trombone and trumpet are rare, with those led by J.J. Johnson and Nat Adderley, Conte Candoli and Frank Rosolino, and Glen Ferris and Peter Scharli serving as exemplary models. Trumpeter Candoli is back again, this time with spectacular trombonist Carl Fontana, in a free-flowing live blowing session supported by a competent, if somewhat pedantic, rhythm section. Performing five tunes with plenty of time to stretch (none under 11 minutes), Candoli and Fontana show why they are so admired by their peers. While not every track receives the same treatment, the horn solos are generally relaxed and limber, even at the hottest tempos. Fontana performs with lightening-fast speed, his technique one of the wonders of the world. His best work here may be his feature on "America the Beautiful," which he translates surprisingly naturally to a jazz idiom. While sometimes Fontana seems to be on autopilot, he is rarely less than exemplary. Candoli, while less impressive technically, is nonetheless a paradigm of concise, swinging trumpet soloing. This release is the first volume of six, and it is a must-have for anyone seriously interested in modern jazz trumpet or trombone, particularly considering the dearth of recordings generally available featuring either of these horn players.

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