Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Michael Treni Big Band - Boy's Night Out

The arrangements soar, the soloists sizzle, the ideas flow, and the band is a winner! ( George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon's Jazz Scene )
Hans Koert

The Michael Treni Big Band recently released its fourth album, entitled Boy's Night Out. Michael Treni started his career in the 1970s as a young trombonist in, as he labels it, a cadre of brilliant young improvisers. He had studied at the Boston's Berklee College of Music, where he founded the band Kaleidoscope, featuring his class mate Pat Metheny. During the 1970s he performed with musicians like trumpet player Tom Harrell, Paul McCanless and Earl Gardner. In 1977 he was part of the Bobby Watson Orchestra, which recorded a Roulette album entitled Estimated Time of Arrival - a group which featured the Russian trumpet player Valery Ponomarev, which became part of the Art Blakey band during the late 1970s.
Michael Treni ( photo courtesy: Christopher Drukker) 
In the late 1970s Art Blakey heard Michael Treni in concert and was fascinated by the way he played his trombone and asked him to join him for his European tour, but, sorry for Michael, Curtis Fuller heard about the intended tour and ask Art is he could join ..... Know that Curtis Fuller had played with Blakey's Messengers before (1961-1965) and that he was a guest player for several times during 1970s. Art Blakey seized the opportunity with both hands and selected Curtis Fuller for his tour ....... In 1985 Michael left the jazz scene as an active musician for some decades, to return mid 1990s in the jazz scene, now retired as a succesful businessman, teaching music and brought jazz music and theatre arts in the New Jersey public schools for 13 years. He is also a gifted author and has his own publishing company Bell Production Company ...... and founded his Michael Treni Big Band.
The Michael Treni Big Band - Boys Night Out ( Photo and graphic design Christopher Drukker)
The band features 18 musicians ( two tracks have strings added), who all have won their spurs, like saxophone player Jerry Bergonzi, who played with Dave Brubeck during the 1970s and had his own trio / quartet during the 1980s; toured with the Gil Evans Orchestra / George Grunz Concert Band (featuring Miles Davis) to Europe and played with Joey Calderazzo. Jerry Bergonzi can be heard on 100s of albums ........
Michael Treni ( photo courtesy: Christopher Drukker)
The title tune, Boy's Night Out, shouldn't be misunderstood. Michael wrote it late 1970s for one of his first bands, the Jazz Horizons Orchestra. The whole idea is, he explains in the liner notes, Guys going out and playing in the club for fun. When I wrote it 30 years ago you didn't have all the wonderful female musicians that you do now.

Enjoy a fragment of this title tune: Boy's Night Out, as played by Michael Treni's Big Band.

The album contains eight tracks, three own compositions and five tracks composed by great composers like Leonard Bernstein ( Something's Going - part of the West Side Story), George Shearing's Lullaby of Birdland and the well known Billy Strayhorn composition U.M.M.G.( = Upper Manhattan Medical Group), which belongs to my favorites, as it has some good solos played by piano player Charles Blenzig and tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi. All eight compositions were arranged by Michael Treni.
The Michael Treni Big Band ( photo courtesy: Christopher Drukker)
Two tracks have strings added - Michaels composition, the ballad In My Quiet Time and the well known standard Here's That Rainy Day, with a great role for Michael on the trombone. A big band album which surprised me and a must-have for all those jazz fans who like the music of the great orchestras, like Thad Jones, Woody Herman or Count Basie ( to list some).
The album can be ordered at Mike Treni's website.
Hans Koert
Twitter: #keepitswinging
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For some jazz fans Big Bands are monstrous antique artifact of a bygone time: Duke Ellington - Count Basie - Woody Herman - Gil Evans or Thad Jones. Nothing is further from the truth .... Big Bands are still breeding grounds and centre for creative jazz composers and arrangers. One of those orchestras is Michael Treni's Big Band. Recently Michael released his fourth album since his comeback in jazz mid 1990s, entitled Boy's Night Out: The arrangements soar, the soloists sizzle, the ideas flow, and the band is a winner, the booklet quotes George Fendel about the band. If you're a lover of well arranged big band music, try to get yourself a copy of this great album. Keep (it) Swinging loves to point to this kind of great albums. If you don't want to miss any contribution, ask for its (free) Keep (it) Swinging newsletter:
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