Jazz CD Reviews

Mike Dubaniewicz – Drive Time – Jazzed Media

Drivin’ with Mike

Published on January 8, 2009

Mike Dubaniewicz – Drive Time – Jazzed Media
Mike Dubaniewicz – Drive Time – Jazzed Media JM1039. 55:56 ****:

(Mike Dubaniewicz, alto sax; Jeff Barone, guitar; Roger Lent, trumpet; Ron Oswanski, organ, piano; Victor Ector, drums; Samuel Torres, Randy Crafton, percussion; Kris Jensen, tenor sax (track 4))

Once again Jazzed Media’s Graham Carter has provided the jazz community with an accomplished sideman’s debut CD as a leader. Alto saxophonist, Mike Dubaniewicz,  (pronounced Doo-BAN-ahh-wits), has played with Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau Band as well as with the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and Slide Hampton. He now has the backing of Jazzed Media as a bandleader. Drive Time pays tribute to Denzil Best, Benny Golson, and the recently departed Freddie Hubbard. Mike also contributes two compositions of his own.

Drive Time is produced by Jeff Barone, who handles guitar duties as well. Barone had Mike play alto on his own recent Jazzed Media release (reviewed recently) and the favor is returned for Dubaniewicz here. The quality of Mike’s band is quite apparent as the entire CD was recorded in a single day. The addition of Ron Oswanski’s Hammond B-3 organ adds to the soulfulness especially on the hard bop tracks.

Things are kicked into high gear immediately with Freddie Hubbard’s classic Hubtones, with Mike and Barone taking lead. Roger Lent has Freddie’s lines on trumpet and Oswanski’s Hammond fills give a 60s Blue Note vibe. Benny Golson’s standard, Along Came Betty, is given an Afro-Cuban treatment and the two percussionists add their magic.

Maynard Ferguson is honored with I Can’t Get Started, and Mike’s ballad chops are on full display, and his sweet tone brings to mind Phil Woods. 20-20-11 follows and teams Dubaniewicz with Ferguson alumnus Kris Jensen and the interplay between the two reedmen is exemplary. Woman Across the River is straight up blues with Mike and Jeff Barone doing Bettye Crutcher’s tune proud on a song made famous by Freddie King.

Continuing to switch gears effectively, Just Friends is a bossa nova, while Wee is bop driven. Showing they have left virtually no idioms out, Barone and Mike do an exquisite duo take on the Gigue from Bach’s Partita No. 3 in E Major. Barone’s acoustic guitar mixes flawlessly with Mike’s alto. Beautiful…

Woody Shaw’s famous Moontrane brings us back to jazz and again Oswanski’s Hammond is featured. The title track closes this classy CD on a Basie “Jumpin at the Woodside” riff. Dubaniewicz’s Drive Time is prime time listening and a superb debut with spot on acoustics. Highly recommended!

TrackList: Hub Tones, Along Came Betty, I Can’t Get Started, 20-20-11, Woman Across the River, Just Friends, Wee, Red Snapper, Gigue, Moontrane, Drive Time

– Jeff Krow

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