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Scott Whitfield Quintet: Live at Charlie O’s

Trombonist, arranger and leader of the Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra, which had a long-running weekly spot at Birdland earlier this decade, Whitfield made the reverse migration from the Big Apple to Los Angeles in 2002. This album was recorded at a North Hollywood club where the quintet worked regularly. It gives Whitfield a chance to stretch out his trombone chops considerably more than he does with his big band. He also flexes his vocal muscle-with lyrics and scat-on a livelier-than-usual version of “Let’s Get Lost” and a jazz-crooner rendering of “You Go to My Head.”

Two pianists, John Rangel and special guest Bob Florence, share the piano duties in a band that also includes reedman Roger Neumann, bassist Jennifer Leitham and drummer Kendall Kay. Soloing on up and mid-tempos, Whitfield has a robust tone and rollicking sense of swing. He can modulate to a smoother tone, too, as when he blends velvet-muted horn with Neumann’s flute on his own impressionistic “Sunset Dreams.”

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