Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass

The Concord Jazz Heritage Series

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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow

After debuting on Concord backing Mel Tormé in 1986, Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass started recording regularly for the label. For this 1998 CD sampler, the Boss Brass are heard on eight selections from as many different albums. McConnell's arrangements were always a bit conservative, but swinging and surprising in their own subtle ways. Surprisingly for a sampler, several of the numbers on this CD are fairly lengthy, including the nearly 12-minute "Strike Up the Band" and a ten-and-a-half-minute "The Shuffle Boogie Swamp Groove Blues." Among the key soloists are tenor saxophonists Eugene Amaro, Rick Wilkins, and Alex Dean; flügelhornist Guido Basso; altoist Moe Koffman; guitarist Ed Bickert; and McConnell himself on valve trombone. The closing "Just Friends" is from the Tormé record and wraps up this fine sampling of the Boss Brass' music quite nicely.

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