J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 03/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's CDs like this one that remind us how many unknown but fabulous instrumentalists there are out there. Rodney Mack is a young trumpet player from New Orleans, apparently currently principal trumpet in the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya under Lawrence Foster. This recording is mostly of trumpet/piano pieces, some of them transcriptions and most of them standards in the classical trumpet repertoire.Most appropriate, given his current location, is the familiar 'La Vergin de la Macarena', the classic bullfight melody in an arrangement by Charles Koff. The accompanist for all but two of the pieces here is his wife, pianist Karen Walwyn. One exception is the unaccompanied and haunting spiritual 'Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child'; this was particularly moving for me because I had just heard of the untimely death at 45 of another New Orleans musician, choral director Moses Hogan, whose arrangements of spirituals for chorus are known world-wide. Included is the ever-present 'Carnival of Venice' in a set of variations by bandman Donald Hunsberger. Also there is a bang-up performance of the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto, most often heard, of course, with orchestral accompaniment. There are two pieces by that favorite of wind players, Eugène Bozza - 'Caprice,' Op. 47 and the gorgeous 'Lied.'For me the high point is the unaccompanied 7-minute 'Variations for Trumpet' by the exciting American composer, Adolphus Hailstork. It makes use of some jazz intonations - Mack knows how to bend pitches with the best of them! - and is consistently engaging.The only disappointment here is the trumpet/piano transcription of Copland's 'Quiet City.' The failure is not of the players, but of the transcription; it simply can't make up for the haunting orchestration of Copland's piece."
Lauren Bernofsky | Bloomington, IN | 11/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great CD! Exceptional trumpet playing -- Rodney Mack really "sings" through the trumpet. This is a CD I'll listen to a lot, because it has such an interesting and varied program."
Elizabeth E. Zumbrun | Philadelphia, PA USA | 06/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording by Rodney Mack is superb! I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys trumpet music. Also, this recording is a good resource as a trumpet player, as Rodney Mack has a fresh musical perspective/interpretation on each of the pieces."