Saturday, June 11, 2011

The H2 Big Band: You're It!

H2 Big Band: You’re It!

© -Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

Big bands are Jazz’s answer to symphony orchestras.

At one time, they were everywhere, performing in ballrooms, pavilions and supper clubs across the United States.

Some big bands like those of Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington even played in that one-time bastion of legitimacy and privilege – Carnegie Hall.

Today, most of the big bands have gravitated to academic institutions, rehearsal halls and occasional appearances at concerts and festivals.

Some mark their debut with the release of a new compact disc.

Such is the case with the H2 Big Band which gets its name from its co-leaders: trumpeter Al Hood and pianist, composer, arranger, Dave Hanson.

The above video will introduce you to the band’s new recording – You’re It which will be available for purchase on June 12, 2011 at

As always, Graham Carter at JazzedMedia is to be commended for all that he does for the music, the musicians who make it and the fans who dig it.

Here’s the media relations information that Graham sent along:

The H2 Big Band You're It!

CD JM1053              UPC 700261322278                       

Release Date: June 12, 2011

• Features jazz trumpet legend Bobby Shew playing on all 11 tracks as either a soloist, lead player, or section trumpeter—the latter two roles being something he hasn't done much of at all in recent years!
• Stellar new arrangements and compositions by pianist Dave Hanson and featuring co-leader Al Hood on trumpet.
• World-class soloists and players from Denver (including Al Hood, Brad Goode, Nelson Hinds, and Ken Walker) and beyond (Glenn Kostur & Bobby Shew from Albuquerque, Jason Carder from Miami, and Mike Rodriquez from New York). Features veterans from the bands of Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Ray Charles, Phil Collins, Woody Herman, Artie Shaw, and more!

Blue Brews
You're It!
Singing In The Rain
For Glaus
Big Spender!
Double Doubles
Blue in Green
Al's Well
Joy Spring

There is indeed an emphatic flow of big bands. A prime example of one which possesses the attributes which jazz lovers seek is certainly the H2 Big Band.

It has the distinction of immediately blowing you away! It stimulates a large appetite for more, without apology. This exceptional band is a collaboration of trumpeter Al Hood and pianist/composer/arranger Dave Hanson, prominent jazz educators and performers armed with heavily laden credentials.

Their co-leadership is recognized in the name of the band: both of their surnames begin with "H" accounting for the unique name. Both Al and Dave articulate a wonderful like-mindedness and aesthetic temperament, revealing their synergies on many levels.

Special remarks from Bobby Shew are pertinent: "It's an excellent band. Dave's writing is praiseworthy and is perfect for the group. Al Hood is such a powerful player, a phenomenon - he's the Paul Bunyan of the jazz trumpet! The whole trumpet section is a killer!"

It doesn't take a long audition of You're It! to realize this is an extraordinary recording. I invite listeners to savor the fresh imagination and emotional heat of the swinging interpretations that showcase Dave's portraits, and the strong individualities of the standout soloists. Add the trumpet magic of guest Bobby Shew and the chemistry is complete. The H2 Big Band is a dynamite big band template. They're definitely "it!" -Dr. Herb Wong, Menlo Park, CA

CD available at

Press/Radio Promotion: Graham Carter, Jazzed Media 303-933-0550 Distribution by Allegro Corporation 1-800-288-2007