Bob Mintzer Big Band
Diversification has always been a driving force behind Bob Mintzer and his music. Aside from being a tenor and soprano saxophonist, Mintzer also plays flute, clarinet, EWI, and is world renowned as a composer, arranger and educator. He has been active in the jazz, pop, orchestra, Latin, and world music genres. "I’ve always been intrigued by the differences and similarities between cultures and their respective art forms,” says Mintzer.
The Bob Mintzer Big Band has received four Grammy nominations and a Grammy Award in 2002 for the recording Homage to Count Basie. The band has performed at numerous festivals and New York jazz clubs over the years.
Mintzer is member of the Yellowjackets, a contemporary jazz group that has scored numerous Grammy nominations and has been a regular participant at jazz festivals throughout the world. Apart from the Yellowjackets, his primary focus is with the Bob Mintzer Big Band and working with many other bands as a guest conductor and soloist on an ongoing basis.
Mintzer considers the educational scene a vital component in the effort to keep jazz and big band music alive. He performs at dozens of workshops annually and maintains a busy schedule teaching at Manhattan School of Music. Most recently, Mintzer has joined the faculty of USC.
An exciting time in Bob Mintzer’s professional life, 2008 marks the year that the lifetime New Yorker relocated to Los Angeles to teach at USC. Bob joined the faculty to teach arranging and lead the big band. Other USC jazz studies program faculty include John Clayton, Peter Erskine, Alan Pasqua and Russell Ferrante. Mintzer follows in the footsteps of other jazz greats such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis and Jerome Richardson who made the move to Los Angeles from the New York scene expanding their scope of musical experiences.
Over the years, Mintzer has performed and/or recorded with a roster of musicians representing a broad range of styles: Buddy Rich, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band, Louie Bellson, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Franks, Take Six, Bobby McFerrin, Dave Leibman, Randy Brecker, George Gruntz, Steve Winwood, Diana Ross, Queen, the American Saxophone Quartet, New York Philharmonic, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, and Mongo Santamaria.
Kurt Elling, the band’s regular vocalist for the last several years makes an appearance on Swing Out (MCG Jazz 1030) and, true to form, takes the music to another level. Elling, critically acclaimed jazz vocalist and multi-Grammy nominee combines vocalese and high-energy scatting. His deep appreciation of the classic jazz songbook have re-energized the art of jazz singing for a new generation.
Swing Out marks the band’s third recording for MCG Jazz. With the addition of Kurt Elling, this recording reflects the best experience the listener can have outside of encountering the Bob Mintzer Big Band in a live setting.