Two tributes

Previous Next

On Stolen Moments, trumpeter John Vanore has assembled a cast of 16 players to realize this tribute to late composer/saxophonist Oliver Nelson (1932-75). Rather than slavishly duplicate Nelson’s effort (“This isn’t a ghost band,” Vanore stresses), he’s wisely chosen to reinterpret the nine tunes. Acclaimed saxophonist Steve Wilson gets the lion’s share of the solos, one a lovely soprano sax interpretation of “I Hope in Time Change Will Come.” The high point is the eight-minute version of the stunning title track, which led me to dig out Nelson’s 1961 original. Vanore’s compares very favorably! On another tribute album, noted arranger Mark Masters reimagines the music of Charles Mingus and Gerry Mulligan on the challenging Blue Skylight. It features a trio of his heroes—bassist Putter Smith and saxophonists Gene Cipriano and Gary Foster—plus a few others knocking themselves out on such fare as Mulligan’s lively “Apple Core” and Mingus’ stately “Eclipse.” Mulligan’s “Strayhorn 2” and “Motel” feature baritone saxophonist Adam Schroeder. A varied and challenging collection of tunes.