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Bobby Shew: The Music of John Harmon

Bobby Shew is a veteran of various big bands and small groups, but these days he’s also known to several generations of jazz students as an active clinician and educator. He’s the featured trumpet soloist on Bobby Shew: The Music of John Harmon (Sea Breeze 2117; 69:10, 46:56), backed by Harmon and various ensembles from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis. The first disc of this set finds Shew soloing with the L.U. Jazz Ensemble, which is quite good considering they’re students. The highlight here is “Night of the August Moon,” a pretty ballad on which Shew gets a dark, beautiful sound. The six intimate Harmon-Shew duets that follow bring out the best in the trumpeter and the pianist-composer, whose touch and accompaniment might remind some of Jimmy Rowles. The second CD featuring Shew with the L.U. Wind Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra is not bad at all if you go for that sort of thing, but it’s probably of little interest for most jazz fans.

Originally Published