In Your Own Sweet Way
Welcome to my first CD as a leader, a tribute to the trombonists who have influenced me the most during my time as a performing musician. I began with Tommy Dorsey (that's who my parents said I should listen to when I began playing trombone in the 5th grade) and later was introduced to Urbie Green and Bill Watrous. In high school and college I enjoyed the clean phrasing ideas and lyricism of Kai Winding and J.J. Johnson (their recordings were easily available). When I started playing professionally I finally became exposed to the magnificent artistry of Frank Rosolino and Carl Fontana, elements of whose playing I still attempt to emulate. There are many exceptional trombonists performing today, but these are the artists who most influenced my own evolution. I also have to acknowledge the individuals in my life whose support was absolutely necessary for this recording to happen. First, no one has ever received more encouragement from his spouse than me - Kim makes my life exceptional every day. I am reminded daily of the accomplishments of my children Joe, Kate and granddaughter Olivia, David, Tim, Matthew, Meghann, Cory, and Brennan (and of their support for a parent who is so passionately involved in his career). Special thanks go to Rick for his friendship, artistry and guidance in completing this project, and to Miles and Zeb for their exceptional performances. My deepest appreciation goes to Bill Becker and Victoria Records for believing in me and supporting this endeavor. I'm most grateful to SIUE for hiring me and providing a setting for my musicianship to evolve, and I am constantly inspired by the artistry of my teaching colleagues Reggie Thomas, Tom Kennedy, Jason Swagler and Andy Tichenor. Acknowledgments also go to Ross Gentile (the champion of St. Louis jazz musicians) and WSIE 88.7 for their support, and to Greg and Cindy Trampe at Music Masters for designing this CD. Some selections on this CD were directly inspired by the trombonists mentioned above; most were picked because of the composer, the vehicle or my love for the tune. The game plan for this CD was to keep it simple and swing hard. I Remember You and Sometime Ago are songs that I love to perform on the trombone and have a great feel. Rick and I have done a version of the well-known Sweet Georgia Brown for some time, and it works beautifully on this recording. The definitive versions of Emily and Polka Dots & Moonbeams are both owned by Carl Fontana whose recordings I've attempted to emulate due to my love for the tunes (my first exposure to Carl was a cassette recording of a private party where he performed both tunes with an out-of-tune piano and glasses clinking in the background - it was magnificent). Rick suggested the beautiful Dave Brubeck piece In Your Own Sweet Way for this recording and came up with the unique rendition that you hear us perform. I also wanted to record a blues on my first CD so I selected Clifford Brown's Sandu. I wanted at least one Duke Ellington tune and an up-tempo rhythm-changes vehicle and Cottontail fit the bill. I Thought About You was recorded numerous times by both Rosolino and Fontana as well as many others - we did this one for a slow groove. Our version of the much recorded I Can't Get Started is quite unique (another Rick Haydon concoction) featuring ¾ time with bossa nova feel - a great vehicle for trombone. It's Only A Paper Moon is influenced by JJ. I'm Getting' Sentimental Over You is one of the first tunes that I tried to play by ear (not knowing in my teens just how difficult it was to perform publicly in Dorsey's key). We performed it as a samba in "Bb" (it does modulate to "D" for the ending). It has been a wonderful experience in every way to have the opportunity to undertake and complete this project (thanks, Bill Becker). I hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed playing. Miscellaneous Data Brett Stamps is Director of Jazz Activities at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he is Professor of Music. He holds degrees from the College of William & Mary and the University of Miami. Professional credits include performances and recordings with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors, the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band as well as numerous St. Louis-based organizations. He remains active as a composer/arranger, teacher/clinician and performer. Brett plays an Edwards .500 bore tenor trombone with a Bach 12C mouthpiece. Rick Haydon is a Mel Bay recording artist and endorses: Moll Custom Instruments La Bella Strings Acoustic Image Amplifiers . This CD was recorded at Studio SIUE on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. It was engineered and mastered by Rick Haydon. For more information check out brettstamps.com on the web.