How To Say Goodbye Ken Shaphorst Analysis

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Ken Schaphorst, a composer, trumpeter, and educator with more than a decade of experience leading big bands, counts on a great lineup of musicians and friends, including a few former students from the New England Conservatory in Boston. Schaphorst’s modern big bands are typically packed with trendy and inventive jazz instrumentalists, and for this new album, entitled How To Say Goodbye, he maintains this feature. Donny McCaslin, Ralph Alessi, Chris Cheek, Uri Caine, Jay Anderson, and Matt Wilson are incredible performers that don’t need any introduction. Shifty and animated, the title track immediately lets us know about the leader’s art of orchestration. The tune was written for the trumpeter John Carlson who envinces absolute confidence and takes the lead through thoughtful moves. “Blues for Herb”,…show more content…
His influences are blended with Gerry Mulligan’s way, and this combination is fueled by penetrating improvisations of Luis Bonilla on trombone and Brian Landrus on baritone sax. Schaphorst also takes the opportunity to display his skills on trumpet in “Global Sweet”, a somewhat spiritual chant enveloped in glamour. The album couldn’t have had a better ending with “Descent”, an impulsively groovy (impeccable foundation by Jay Anderson and Matt Wilson) and vividly swinging piece that shakes us with its emotional robustness. The tune features the irresistible pianist Uri Caine, who becomes lyrical whenever accompanying and effusive when improvising, and also Ralph Alessi whose melodic movements and rhythmic contortions are both impressive and opportune. Schaphorst’s genius compositions come from the heart and the thankfulness toward the talents who have been sharing music with him is translated into honest tributes and magical reciprocation. Unabated, How To Say Goodbye was beautifully conceived, standing as one of the big band favorite albums of

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