Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Andy Martin: Professional Musicianship At Its Best

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

How do you make a Jazz trombonist smile?

Have him sit in a big band trombone section when Andy Martin stands up to take a solo.

I’ve seen this happen time and time again.

Whatever the context – Tom Talbert’s Band, the Les Brown Band, Louie Bellson’s Big Band Explosion, the Bill Holman Orchestra, the Phil Norman Tentet, the Carl Saunders Bebop Big Band, the Tom Kubis Orchestra, The Metropole Orchestra of Holland, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band – Andy’s solos put a knowing smile on the faces of all of his mates in the trombone sections of these bands.

They are all first-rate trombone players, many of whom are excellent soloists themselves and they all know what’s on offer when Andy plays.

A gorgeous tone, flawless technique and musical ideas that just flow seamlessly one after the other; one into the other.

Smooth, pure, powerful: listening to Andy Martin take a solo is the epitome of professional musicianship at its best.

Based on the West Coast, Andy invariably draws comparisons with Frank Rosolino and Carl Fontana, two other monster Jazz trombonists who spent the majority of their careers in and around Southern California.

Andy has done an album with Carl and one that is dedicated to the memory of Frank. You can find more information about these and all of his recordings by visiting his website. It is also a great source for details concerning all aspects of Andy's career.

Distributed in 1998 on Chartmaker Records, I have always been partial to Walkin’ The Walk,  a recording that Andy made with Bill Liston on tenor and a truly superb rhythm section comprised of Tom Ranier on piano [and too rarely heard outside of Southern California], John Clayton on bass and Jeff Hamilton on drums.

Andy’s original composition Line for Lewis is from this CD and forms the audio track on the following video tribute. The tune is based on the melody of the old standard,  Limehouse Blues. Checkout the four bar drum solos that Jeff Hamilton lays down beginning at 3:34 minutes.

You don’t have to be a professional Jazz trombonist to smile when Andy Martin plays. All you have to do is listen; the smile will take care of itself.