Does any musical instrument get less respect than the trombone? Need to make something sound sad, but not sad, like the tears of a clown? Write in a trombone. Need to make something sound fun and funkified? Write in a trombone. (Okay, maybe it’s worse for the oboe or tuba, but that’s about it.) JazzBonez, one of the world’s premier jazz trombone ensembles, hopes to change ears and minds with "Watch It!" (Summit Records, 2014).
From the rhythm skeleton of Utah Hamrick (bass), David Sierra (drums), Austin Kimble (piano) and Quinntin Smith (vibraphone), JazzBonez lets SIX trombones fly: Martin McCain on bass trombone, Oscar Diaz on bass and tenor trombone, and tenor trombonists Mitch Butler, Emede Gonzalez, Javier Stuppard and Ulrican Williams.
"Watch It!" jumps right out of the gate on its title track, as the rhythm section – pianist Kimble in particular – ricochets off all the trombones that sing its bouncy melody. While this title track echoes trombonist Curtis Fuller, “The Phoenix” soars more like soul-jazz legend Cannonball Adderley, with the rhythm section grooving on a steady yet slippery instrumental bed from which each trombone solo jumps.
Trombone solos blossom and bloom in “Dans Un Monde Des Reves (World of Dreams)” like beautiful musical flowers. So many different players take so many different spotlights that you really can’t distinguish the soloists – they’re all so darn good!
JazzBonez close this set with a romp through Benny Golson’s warhorse “Stablemates” which races to the finish line in just three bright and cheerful minutes that end far too quickly.
JazzBonez came together at The University of Texas at Austin’s graduate school in 2006. The very next year, they won the 2007 International Trombone Association’s Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition and the Eastern Trombone Workshop’s National Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition.