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Michael Davis: Trumpets Eleven

Michael Davis has worked with everyone from the Stones to Sinatra to the Bob Mintzer Big Band. Trumpets Eleven (Hip-Bone) consists of 10 of his diverse originals, performed by 11 different trumpeter guests. By the time it’s done, we’ve heard from jazz heavyweights Eddie Henderson, Randy Brecker, Ryan Kisor, Scott Wendholt and Tom Harrell; studio titans Chuck Findley and Jim Hynes; pop-jazzer Chris Botti; big-band heavy hitter Bobby Shew; and classical virtuosi Phil Smith and Malcolm McNab (on C and E-flat horns, respectively). The supporting personnel also couldn’t be more solid. Adam Nussbaum, Will Kennedy and Jeff Ballard are the drummers; they back the rotating piano-bass teams of Phil Markowitz and Jay Anderson or Alan Pasqua and Dave Carpenter. Davis proves to be an exceptionally fluid and technically gifted soloist throughout. As a leader, he knows exactly how to bring out the unique qualities of his trumpeter companions. Highlights include Henderson on the scorching “Permit Required,” Harrell on the lyrical waltz “Cole Henry,” Smith and Botti on the dark ballad “Blue Day” and Hynes on the busy, contrapuntal trumpet-and-trombone duet “Family Tree.” Even the most commercial entry, “C to Z” (featuring Randy Brecker), remains true to the creative intentions of the date.

Originally Published