The Masters of Music Big Band is a collection of the Detroit area’s best musicians, directed by the area's top Jazz Trombone performer. The band performs arrangements by the finest writers in the industry, and strives to perform in the style of both the writer/arranger, as well as each of the bands for which the arrangements were written. This premiere recording features the arrangers Bill Holman, Don Sebesky, Jeff Tyzik, and Marty Paich, and more. This collection represents the sounds of Maynard Fergusen, Stan Kenton, the Tonight Show Band, and the Count Basie Orchestra, in addition to less familiar bands such as the Matt Catingub Big Band, and the band of Ashley Alexander. This recording also pays tribute to other legends of the big band era such as Glenn Miller, Hoagy Carmichael, and Duke Ellington. We hope you enjoy this greatest hits concept of the big bands, along with the touches of Detroit’s best musicians that uniquely make this the Masters of Music Big Band.
Ron Kischuk is a career Detroit musician. He has performed with many legends of jazz, as well as with hundreds of major stars, and has been a featured soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Ron has performed for both television and movies as well as on grammy winning records. He is a Yamaha clinician and performing artist, and is the leader of both the Masters of Music Big Band and the Tartarsauce Traditional Jazz Band. Ron is the founder of the Masters of Music Studio, a teaching conservatory designed to develop the next generation of professional musicians.
In The Mood is considered by many to be the national anthem of big band swing. It spans all generations as the most widely known of the jitterbug songs. This arrangement by Jeff Tyzik for The Tonight Show Band breathes new life into a classic tune. So too, do the sax solos of Pete Kahn and Gene Parker as well as the trumpet chorus of Dwight Adams. Ric Wolkins caps it off with a solo trumpet ride over the top of the band leading to the final push from the band.
Stardust is the most popular songs ever recorded. Hoagy Carmichael’s classic was not originally a ballad, and was at first only an instrumental. Adding lyrics and slowing the tune down created one of the biggest hits in music history. This arrangement highlights Dwight Adams taking a short stint on trumpet and Ron Kischuk on trombone.
Mira Mira comes direct from the band of Maynard Fergusen. Matt Harris’ Latin number is the perfect vehicle to highlight the rhythm section as well the trumpet of Dwight Adams. The band accompanies Buddy Budson and Marion Hayden through a lively passage leading to the drums of Bob Harsen and a full band finish.
Blues And The Abscessed Tooth is a Matt Catingub Big Band original. The son of Mavis Rivers is a gifted saxophonist and arranger, and although this is a blues tune, it is the most difficult arrangement on the CD. The ensemble writing is classic big band swing and the arrangement features the solos of Buddy Budson, Gene Parker, Larry Nozero and Al Duncan. The sax solo is followed by a dramatic shout chorus buildup to the screech trumpet of Maurice Davis. Bob Harsen’s drum solo pushes the band to its final destination.
Fly Me To The Moon is best known as a Frank Sinatra selection. This is the Sammy Nestico arrangement recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra. It starts with the bass of Marion Hayden and grows to a full big band swell before ending with a turn on the classic Basie piano ending. This selection features the alto saxophone of Larry Nozero, as well as the full ensemble.
Almost Like Being In Love brings out our vocalist Judie Cochill. This arrangement by Dave Wolpe lends itself to Judy’s Rosemary Clooney like style and features the tenor saxophone of Gene Parker. Although this arrangement is published and commercially available, Judy definitely makes it sound as if it were written just for her.
The Stan Kenton Orchestra has a following unparalleled by any other big band to this day. True followers of his band will recognize the Marty Paich arrangement of My Old Flame. Larry Nozero’s alto solo is masterful in the way that it modernizes the arrangement without changing a single written note. Dwight Adams also takes a lyrical solo on trumpet beautifully in character with the arrangement.
Take The A Train is a signature of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. It is the one tune learned by virtually every jazz student and professional alike. Written by Billy Strayhorn, this arrangement is by a giant of big band writing Don Sebeskey. The arrangement starts with a roar and ends the same way. Listen to all of the big band hooks, the full brass, sax soli and short solos by Ron Kischuk on trombone and Dwight Adams on trumpet. This is without question one of the finest arrangements ever done on this tune.
Judie Cochill tells a story on this Dave Wolpe arrangement of Makin’ Whoopee. It’s always fun to hear a new arrangement of an old tune. The challenge is to see if someone can come up with fresh ideas to a well-known and much recorded tune. Both the arrangement and Judy’s vocals will certainly impress, and the band lets you hear why this is truly a standard.
Stompin’ At The Savoy is another arrangement from The Stan Kenton library. This is the great Bill Holman’s arrangement and it sounds as fresh today as when the Kenton band recorded it all those years ago. Featured are Buddy Budson, Dwight Adams and Pete Kahn. This chart still requires multiple listens in order to catch everything there is to it.
The disc closes with Seems Like Old Times from the Ashley Alexander Big Band. This Frank Mantooth arrangement features Gene Parker on the tenor sax and is the perfect way to swing on out of the CD.