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Bill Trujillo/Carl Fontana: It’s Tru

Veterans of such big bands as Woody Herman’s and Stan Kenton’s, and long-time participants in the Las Vegas music scene, tenorist Bill Trujillo and trombonist Carl Fontana bring to this set of standards and Trujillo originals the confidence and competence afforded by a lifetime of rich experience. Trujillo exhibits the pure tonal concept and general approach to phrasing of Lestorian brothers Stan Getz and Zoot Sims, whom he lists among his favorites. In fact, his booting phrases on up-tunes such as “Like ‘Zoot'” might even fool a Sims fan, while the Getz influence is more likely to show up in his graceful work on ballads like “Here’s That Rainy Day.”

Fontana, regarded by many as among the best exponents of his instrument since J.J. Johnson, is guest soloist on five of the 12 tracks. Among his admirable qualities is the ability to create melodic lines so flexible that they make the listener forget that the trombone, in the hands of lesser players, can be a devil to manipulate. For proof, one need only check out his phenomenal solo on the blazing “Bye Bye Blues.” For this 1999 recording, Trujillo’s first as a leader, the two hornmen are supported by the fine rhythm section of pianist Ronnie DiFillips, bassist Don Stewart and drummer Bobby Joe Harrison.

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