Rob McConnell – Present Perfect (1980/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 46:13 minutes | 900 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: ProStudioMasters | Front Cover | © MPS
Late Canadian jazz musician Rob McConnell’s talents as a bandleader, arranger and trombonist are spotlighted on the Juno Award-winning Present Perfect. Notably, on the standard Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, he plays an adventurously off-kilter lead-in to the melody and then delivers a brilliant valve trombone solo. McConnell and his 22-piece brass band (including rhythm and reed sections) recorded this album in 1979 in Toronto and mixed it in Germany.
In 1968 McConnell returned to Toronto and founded a 15 piece brass band with rhythm section. He named it Boss Brass, keeping the name when he added a 5 piece reed section to the band in 1971. At first, McConnell arranged pop hits for Boss Brass, but as time went on the repertoire became more and more jazzy. Through their recordings, the band won international acclaim. However, they had never toured outside of Canada, so this 1979 MPS production took place in a studio in Toronto and was later mixed at MPS’s studio in Villingen, Germany. McConnell is lauded as a bandleader and arranger; on “Present Perfect” he shows himself to be a superb trombonist. On “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”, he plays an adventurously off-kilter lead-in to the melody, and then delivers a brilliant valve trombone solo. In 1988, after 20 years with Boss Brass, he accepted a teaching job in California, but returned to Toronto a year later and re-formed the band.
The Boss Brass has always featured some of the finest jazz-oriented session players from Toronto, Canada. Valve trombonist Rob McConnell’s swinging arrangements give the orchestra its own personality, as can be heard on this obscure Pausa LP, which was originally put out by the European MPS label. The band performs fresh versions of three swing-era standards (including “You Took Advantage of Me”), a lesser-known tune, and a couple of McConnell originals, including “The Waltz I Blew for You.” The key soloists include trumpeters Guido Basso and Sam Noto, altoists Jerry Toth and Moe Koffman, Rick Wilkins and Eugene Amaro on tenors, guitarist Ed Bickert, and McConnell (who is featured on “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”). Worth searching for, as are virtually all of the recordings by this very consistent big band.
01 – Present Arms: You Took Advantage of Me
02 – Everything Happens to Me
03 – Twist of the Wrist
04 – The Waltz I Blew for You
05 – Roberta: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
06 – Start With Mrs. Beanhart
Produced by Rob McConnell & David Greene. Engineered by David Greene.
Recorded on October 29-31, 1979 at Sound Stage Studio, Toronto, Canada.
Mixed on January 14-16, 1980 at MPS Studio, Villingen, Germany.