Legendary Tenor Saxophonist Don Menza brings us his big band recorded in Los Angeles in 2004. This is the first Don Menza Big Band recording since Don's famous "Burnin'" album of the early 1980's.
Don is joined by such jazz stars as Bobby Shew, Lanny Morgan, Jack Nimitz, Bill Reichenbach, Don Rader, Ron King, and Chris Conner.
LEADER & TENOR SAXOPHONE- Don Menza
TRUMPETS- Chuck Findley, Bobby Shew, Don Rader, Ron King, Frank Szabo.
TROMBONES- Bill Reichenbach, Alex Iles, Bob McChesney, John Hassellback.
REEDS- Lanny Morgan, Russ D'Alba, Doug Webb, Tom Peterson, Jack Nimitz.
PIANO- Mike Abene
BASS- Chris Conner
GUITAR- Mark Waggoner
DRUMS- Mike Stephans
There is just cause to hail the realization of this recording. It is the first Menza big band recording since 1981 when his heralded "Burnin'" album made a resounding statement. The drought has finally ended with "Menza Lines", a knock out "live" recording.
The Menza band was further endowed with the exact same powerful 5-man trumpet section which played on his "Burnin'" record; (Chuck Findley, Ron King, Don Rader, Bobby Shew and Frank Szabo), likewise in the case of alumnus trombonist Bill Reichenbach and baritone saxophonist Jack Nimitz. Reconvening with players from the past inherently paid off in the band's overall quality performance and experience quotient.
With conviction and candor Menza declares "We should all hold our heads high. There's no gimmicks and no submissions to current trends or popular styles. I play and write what I feel, nothing more, nothing less."
Amen. Menza Lines, all aboard!
Dr. Herb Wong
Alumnus, KJAZ Radio- San Francisco