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Andy Martin: Andy Martin & Metropole Orchestra

Andy Martin is a young veteran trombonist on the California scene. He plays in many big bands, and studio, movie, and commercial work. These two albums give him a chance to be spotlighted out front in sympathetic settings.

The Mons album includes recordings of two radio broadcasts by the mammoth Dutch Metropole orchestra, which includes all manner of strings, reeds, and sundry others, but which is never stentorian or unwieldy. Backed by widely varied arrangements of this cast, Martin’s trombone shines through with velvety elan.

The Chartmaker record is a quintet session, co-led by his friend and fellow Californian, the alto saxophonist Bill Liston. This album is straight-ahead and powerful. It includes standards, and blowing originals derived from standards. Although it does not have a cutting bite, the album is a powerhouse, as befits the propulsive rhythm team of Jeff Hamilton and John Clayton. Liston and Martin have their innings, in a fresh and sprightly manner.

Martin is fluid and lyrical on the bone; he has a clean, round sound and deft touch rather than a growl. These two albums give a fine accounting beyond his otherwise anonymous work.

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