The fourth recording by Philadelphia based John Vanore & Abstract Truth further defines the singular voice of this large ensemble—a leader in the movement in jazz that is redefining the big band. CULTURE presents this uniquely instrumented ensemble’s original point of view where the soloist is prominent, if not dominant. The ensemble draws on the traditions of the big band, but neither limited by nor imitating it.
The instrumentation alone creates a palette of color shared by none! Essentially structured as a jazz small group plus 4 trumpets, 2 trombones, and French horn-- it’s 2 saxophone soloists provide additional color doubling on flutes and bass clarinet. Orchestration takes on a character that goes from intimate groupings to the full explosive power that the brass section brings to a big band.
The ensemble’s personnel boast rich and diverse experiences including performing with Phil Woods, Buddy Rich, Slide Hampton, Randy Brecker, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Pat Martino and many others. Contagious Words (2011), the band’s third release, has received critical acclaim and has charted in the Top 100 for Jazz Radio. Blue Route and Curiosity have been re-issued to reviews giving testimony to the timeless nature of the music.
Blue Route was the first release (1990). CD Review Magazine’s editor, Dick Lewis named it an Editors’ Choice, Best of the Year and described it as “A widely and wildly varied collection of traditional big band elements blended with contemporary and visionary sounds.”
With considerable national radio play the word spread. Blue Route and subsequently, Curiosity, a little more than a year later, were recognized in the Downbeat Readers Poll as Album of the Year worthy. The band itself and Mr Vanore as a composer also received placement in multiple years.
John Vanore, trumpet; Michael Mee - alto and soprano sax, flute and alto flute;
Bob Howell, tenor and soprano sax; Joe Cataldo, Sean McAnally, Dennis Wasko, Kevin Rodgers - trumpet and flugelhorn; George Barnett, French Horn; Larry Toft, trombone; Barry McCommon, bass trombone; Greg Kettinger, guitar; Craig Thomas, bass and waterphone (The Secret Caves); Dan Monaghan, drums
Ron Thomas, piano (Footprints and Whispers of Spring)
Brian Landrus, bass clarinet (The Secret Caves and The Arsenal)
John Vanore, trumpet; Michael Mee, Alto and soprano sax and flute; Bob Howell, Tenor and soprano sax, flute, bass clar; Joe Cataldo, Bill Pusey, Sean McAnally, Kevin Rodgers, Tony DeSantis, Trumpet & Flugelhorn; George Barnett, French horn; Fred Scott, Larry Toft, trombone; Jim Daniels, bass trombone (trk 2 & 5); Greg Kettinger, guitar; Craig Thomas, acoustic & electric bass; Ron Thomas & Fender Rhodes, piano; Dan Monaghan, drums
John Vanore, trumpet & flugelhorn; Michael Mee, alto and soprano sax, flute; Mike Falcone, tenor sax and flute; Rocco Bene, Joe Fallon, Brian Groder, Kevin Rodgers, trumpet & flugelhorn; George Barnett, French horn; Mike Galan, Jose Vidal, trombone; Ron Thomas, piano; Craig Thomas, bass, electric bass; Joe Nero, Joe Mullen, Dave DeFusco, drums
John Vanore, trumpet & flugelhorn; Michael Mee, alto, soprano sax and flute; Mike Falcone, tenor sax, and flute; Rocco Bene, Joe Fallon, Brian Groder, Kevin Rodgers, Trumpet and flugelhorn; George Barnett, French horn; Mike Galan, Jose Vidal, trombone; Ron Thomas, piano; Kevin Kuhn, guitar; Craig Thomas, acoustic and electric bass; Joe Nero, Drums