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Andy Martin: It’s Fine. . .It’s Andy!

Leader on less than a handful of albums, trombonist Andy Martin made his name as a featured soloist in the bands of Bill Holman, Tom Talbert, Quincy Jones and Frank Capp, among others, and as an omnipresence in film and television studios. Accompanied by an inspired rhythm section headed by pianist Jan Lundgren on It’s Fine…It’s Andy!, Martin substantiates that he is at the front of the small pack of important successors to Frank Rosolino, J.J. Johnson and Carl Fontana. (The CD is dedicated to Rosolino.)

It’s Fine…It’s Andy! abounds with the qualities that have made the 42-year-old an idol of trombonists in and out of jazz: speed, range, articulation, suppleness, breath control, imagination and tone. In its softness and warmth, Martin’s sound resembles that of the bebop master Johnson. He seems never to lapse into brassiness, no matter the dazzling extent of some of his inventions. For all of his ability to take the instrument to the limits of its capabilities, Martin keeps his improvisations soundly based in the material at hand, creating logical, intriguing lines that often have great beauty. The repertoire includes the Sonny Rollins classic “Doxy” and a cross section of superior standards. It opens with “Carl,” a piece Holman wrote for Fontana when both were with the Stan Kenton band but which never made its way into a Kenton album. Martin redeems “Carl” here in a wondrous performance.

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