San Diego, California-based trumpeter, Brad Steinwehe, has assembled a local all star big band contingent for his Sea Breeze big band issue, Nutville. With the exception of alto saxophonist Christopher Hollyday, (who has a great solo on Lifelong Friend); none of the musicians in the band are well known outside of southern California. But don’t let that stop you from picking up this release, as Steinwehe’s jazz orchestra meets all of the qualifications of a quality big band session: seamless section ensemble work, bright and assertive solos, and first rate sound mix.
Steinwehe is comfortable mostly leading the trumpet section, but has noteworthy solos on the Horace Silver penned title track, as well as on the brass heavy Studs of War. Including Nutville, Brad includes only two other jazz standards, Miles Davis’ Seven Steps to Heaven, and Woody Shaw’s classic Moontrane. All the other compositions on this CD are interestingly enough written by former band members. My favorite song tracks include Michael Mossman’s The Perp, on which the band’s crack ensemble work shines; the Kim Richmond arranged Nice, a flowing ballad featuring pianist, Irving Flores, and Albert Alva’s Desert Blues, on which Steve Steinberg on tenor and Scott Kyle on trombone are featured.
– Jeff Krow