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Bob Mintzer Big Band: Get Up!

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Like so many baby-boomer jazzmen, Bob Mintzer, during his most impressionable years, took in not only jazz but the radio hits of the day-including the soul, R&B and funk that inspired Get Up! Three of the nine tracks here, sequenced consecutively, are ’60s cornerstones: the Isley Brothers’ “It’s Your Thing,” Sam and Dave’s “I Thank You” and Sly and the Family Stone’s “Sing a Simple Song.” The only other non-original, “Elegant People,” is a Wayne Shorter number dating from the mid-’70s. That they meld so seamlessly with Mintzer’s compositions is a testament to the tenor saxophonist, flutist and bandleader’s ability to impart his focused vision to his sizable team.

Mintzer’s title track, leading off the program, sets the tone: This is-in the spirit of the original big bands-music to dance to, not art to ponder. Groove is the thing, and the rhythm section of bassist Will Lee and drummer William Kennedy keeps it airtight and super-funky. The horn parts are sharp and punchy, and the solos, by trombonist Andy Hunter and baritone saxophonist Roger Rosenberg, are lean and direct. The other Mintzer originals-particularly “Truth Spoken Here” and the closing “Yeah Yeah Yeah”-are populated with the kind of horn-powered grease that put bands like Tower of Power and the Average White Band on the map.

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