NCCU Brass Ensemble Selections

NCCU Brass Ensemble

Two selections from the 2011 "Slightly Blued" CD, produced by North Carolina Central University's Jazz Studies program. It was produced by Dr. Ira Wiggins & Artist In Residence Branford Marsalis. The NCCU Brass Ensemble is directed by Robert Trowers.

The selections are "Hesitating Blues" (composed by W.C. Handy and arranged by William Grant Still and recorded in 1919 by James Reese Europe's 369th Regimental band) and "Twilight Mist", composed by McCoy Tyner and arranged by Robert Trowers. The trumpet soloist is LeRoy Barley. The rest of the group consists of Jamnel Fields, trumpet; Reginald Greenlee & Robert Trowers, trombones; Steven McKeiver, baritone; Donovan Scott, tuba; Tyler Leak, Drums

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Point Of View

Robert Trowers

An album that demonstrates the many personalities of the trombone when played by different artists.

Robert Trowers is a trombonist with 39 years of experience working in many of the top - level jazz groups in the United States. Among these are the Count Basie Band, Lionel Hampton, the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall Jazz bands, Randy Weston, Abdullah Ibrahim, and many others.

"Point of View" was Robert's attempt to show the many sides of the trombone by using different types of compositions and having guest artists with distinctly different ways of playing. The guests are hard - swinging plunger trombonist Al Grey, master bebopper Slide Hampton, and the dean of funk trombone, Fred Wesley. The compositions range from dreamy, moody pieces like "Statement" to hard - hitting bebop, such as "Minority". The pulse of funk is represented by "R&B", while "Spleep - Bop" is a swinger just made for plunger trombone. Throughout, there is the sound of the Robert Trowers quartet, backed by the redoubtable Richard Wyands on piano, Marcus McLaurine on bass, and Gene Jackson on drums.

Critics were impressed with this release as well. One stated that Robert Trowers "breathes new life into the instrument" while another said that "this record shows the trombone to be a very viable and exciting instrument. . . and Robert Trowers to be its future."

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Synopsis

Robert Trowers

Virtuoso bebop with a strong sense of swing at its core.

Robert Trowers is a veteran trombonist whose 39 years in music has seen him performing with such artists as Lionel Hampton, The Count Basie Orchestra, Randy Weston, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra directed by Wynton Marsalis, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra directed by Jon Faddis, The Chico O'Farrill Afro - Cuban Orchestra, and numerous others.

"Synopsis" was his first CD for the Concord record label, and it was done during his time with the Basie band.

In fact, the album was recorded in one day so that Robert could maintain his touring schedule with the band.

On "Synopsis", he teams up with his good friend, master bebopper Jesse Davis on alto sax, legendary Cleveland pianist Carl "Ace" Carter, rock - solid bassist Marcus McLaurine, and the ubiquitous Lewis Nash on drums.

One reviewer called "Synopsis" "one of the most enjoyable albums I've heard lately" while a French critic commented "for a first CD, it is a total success".

Another French reviewer stated that Robert's trombone performance "has taken him to the first row of the best specialists of the instrument."

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