Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
Take it from me - this guy is hot!
Ian Muldoon | Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia | 10/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"OK, so my buddy tells me "You must listen to Tom Varner!" and I say "What does he play?" and my buddy says "French Horn" and I say "Say what? I mean is this some sort of Woody Allen character? Jazz French Horn??" Let me just say at the outset that I'm as prejudiced as the next guy. And as stupid. But I do trust my buddy. And I'm still willing to take some risks when I shell out $16 for a CD. This CD was the result. And maybe I've underrated it, it's that good. So you might say "what's so good about a five piece pianoless band that you want to give it four(four and a half?) stars?" Well you may ask. OK. First of all this guy, Mr Varner is a monster arranger. We're talking Marty Paich, Gil Melle territory perhaps, at least to my unprofessional ear. Secondly he's a terrific writer. 14/15 compositions on this CD are by Mr Varner, and there's not a dud one on the disc. Thirdly, he doesn't OVER arrange - there's plenty of room for his fellow musicians to breathe, to cook, to swing, Oh Yeah! Fourthly, he keeps damn good company - Mr Jackson on alto, Mr Eskelin on tenor, Mr Gress on bass and Mr Rainey on drums- all know which side is up, in the groove sense, if you get my meaning! Fifthly, he programmes his CD like a dream, plenty of variety, plenty of contrasts. I predict I'll still be listening to this CD in a decade from now. Fifthly, he can make that damn horn of his TALK! Sounding something like a trombone, he has amazing control and speed and range - sometimes he's as sweet as pink lips the next moment as low down as the horn can go. Sixthly, the overall tone of the music is joy or perhaps exultation - this man loves making music and it shows. Seventhly - HEY - you get the picture!! I've bought Mr Varner's The Swiss Duos documented on Unit Records UTR 4128(duos with pianists) and, what I think is an absolute wonder, COMPLETE COMMUNION on Omnitone 12102 recorded in New York September 2000,which is a tribute to Don Cherry and features the great bass player Mr CAMERON BROWN. I'm convinced Mr Varner is making some of the best music in his genre available. Be square or get there! ALL ABOARD!! The train to musical heaven is leaving NOW!!"
A BODACIOUS RECORDING
Ian Muldoon | 04/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Who'da thunk a French horn could be so cool? This is a terrific recording, hip and funky and always interesting. Can't recommend it highly enough."