New Music Monday on Lunchtime! with Arturo Gómez! Tune in on Monday, March 25 at noon to hear new music from Nick Finzer, Brian Bromberg, Allen Dennard, and more!

Nick Finzer: “Legacy: A Centennial Celebration of JJ Johnson”
The past few generations of jazz trombonists all have one thing in common despite their background and style of playing, they all cite J.J. Johnson as an influence. What Charlie Parker did for the alto sax, Johnson did for the trombone, in addition to his many compositions now part of the jazz canon and masterful arrangements. For his newest recording, trombonist Nick Finzer wished to pay homage to his trombone hero in this, the centennial of his birth, so he chose accompanists who had played with JJ: Renee Rosnes-piano, Rufus Reid-bass and Lewis Nash-drums.

Growing up as the son of a professional flutist, Nick fell in love with the music of Duke Ellington who often played, he decided on a career in jazz playing trombone. While other kids on the school bus were listening to Top 40 radio, Finzer was listening to cassettes of J J Johnson. Seven of the ten tracks are covers of Johnson tunes with three originals by the band members. A fitting tribute to James Louis Johnson!

Brian Bromberg: “LaFaro”
As the title of Bromberg’s latest outing indicates, this is a tribute to the amazing bassist Scott LaFaro who despite dying in a tragic automobile accident at only 25 years old in 1961, left a legacy and influences that are still being followed over 60 years later. Born in Newark, NJ, and raised in Geneva, New York, after first studying and playing clarinet and tenor saxophone in high school, he took up the bass to enroll at Ithaca College. He left college after 1 year and relocated to Los Angeles to begin his professional career playing with Cal Tjader, Stan Kenton, and Chet Baker, among others. In 1959 he moved back to NYC and started his association with Bil Evans where he made his important contributions to jazz. Tragically, after a concert at Newport Jazz Festival with Bill Evans in 1961, Scott died in an automobile accident while visiting his parents in Geneva leaving Bill Evans so devastated that it took him several months to be able to play again. The twelve songs on this homage are all tunes associated with Evans and LaFaro played by Brian Bromberg on bass, Tom Zink on piano, and Charles Ruggiero on drums. Scott’s daughter, Helene, calls this the best tribute to her dad ever!

Allen Dennard: “Flashback”
A Detroit native son, Allen began playing classical trumpet until he was a teenager when he discovered he needed the freedom of expression in playing, he opted for jazz which enabled him to be mentored by the legendary Marcus Belgrave. He attended the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where he earned his bachelor’s degree in jazz. Since then, Dennard has played for many jazz festivals, in Michigan and the Midwest as well as playing in many R&B bands. Just before the pandemic, Allen recorded seven tracks for his debut, however, Covid forced the postponement of the release until now. On the positive side, it allowed Dennard to record three more tracks and add them to his debut. All ten of the selections are written by Allen Dennard and he is accompanied by several of the finest young jazz players of Detroit where he continues to live.

Now in its 21st year of debuting the latest arrivals to the KUVO Jazz library, many of them are played ahead of their official release date. In addition to the music comments, I’ll provide a few tidbits about the artist, if it’s a new or an up-and-coming artist. It all begins at Noon every Monday.

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