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Braden Rapp: The Strayhorn ProjectBraden-RappThe Strayhorn Project
Braden-Rapp: The Strayhorn Project Premium Music Solutions Release Date: November 29, 2009 © 2009 Premium Music Solutions

Album Reviews

This CD project is a true successful experiment in the art of re-composing the composition. The harmonic and rhythmic deception in both 'Satin Doll' and 'Chelsea Bridge' is in a word fortuitous and striking, et al. The center of this marvelous group is the compelling magnetism Gerald Clayton brings to his piano chair. The character of his playing is strong, yet he shows us a subdued lyricism side as well. Very delightful and well worth enjoying him in his own right. That said, The combined group displays extraordinary skill in their musicianship. As you listen to their project, you will realize that Braden and Rapp both have built a suitable medium for us to imbibe as we take in the tremendous emotion expressed therein. The project comes to fruition very deliberately and impressively with exciting digressions into the world of harmony and melody. I must address as well the musical dialogue between these fine players creating an overall tonal scheme of both subtlety and imagination. Enjoy! ~ George W Carroll, The Musicians' Ombudsman

Don Braden: saxophone, flute; Mark Rapp: trumpet; Gerald Clayton: piano; Sachal Vasandani: vocals; Rene Hart: bass; Greg Gonzalez: drums

Play Song Title Time Get Track
play Rain Check 6:23 Amazon iTunes
play Isfahan 5:48 Amazon iTunes
play A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing 5:55 Amazon iTunes
play Something To Live For 3:23 Amazon iTunes
play Satin Doll 6:13 Amazon iTunes
play Daydream 4:26 Amazon iTunes
play Johnny Come Lately 6:19 Amazon iTunes
play Lament For Javanette 4:43 Amazon iTunes
play Chelsea Bridge 4:37 Amazon iTunes
play Pretty Girl/Star Crossed Lovers 2:53 Amazon iTunes
play Interview from National Radio Show, The Lionel Show (Dec 14, 2009 8:15AM) 7:45  

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A Tribute to the Music of
Billy Strayhorn

If you are familiar with the jazz composition, “Take the A Train,” then you know something about not only Duke Ellington, but also Billy “Sweet Pea” Strayhorn, its composer. Strayhorn joined Duke Ellington’s band in 1939, at the age of twenty-two. Ellington liked what he saw in Billy and took this shy, talented pianist under his wing. By the end of the year Strayhorn had become essential to the Duke Ellington Band; arranging, composing, sitting-in at the piano. Billy made a rapid and almost complete assimilation of Ellington's style and technique. It was difficult to discern where one's style ended and the other's began. The results of the Ellington-Strayhorn collaboration brought much joy to the jazz world.


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Don Braden Don Braden on Sax/Flute Don Braden has toured the world leading his own ensembles, and as a sideman with greats such as Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Tony Williams, Roy Haynes, and many others. He has composed music for everything from duo to full symphonic orchestra, for recordings, film and television including several shows with Bill Cosby. He is an imaginative, technically excellent, soulful saxophonist, and his harmonic and rhythmic sophistication give him a unique approach to improvising as well as composing and arranging. Most important of all: he has a beautiful sound, and he swings! All this combines with his joyous yet disciplined personality to make him one of the most important young musicians working today.

Mark Rapp Mark Rapp on Trumpet Mark Rapp has played sold out shows at the Blue Note (NY), Joe's Pub, Yoshi's (San Fran) and such venues as the JVC Newport JazzFestival, Dizzy's at Jazz Lincoln Center, JazzTime Festival (Croatia), Jazzland (Vienna), Jazz Standard and more. Mark was named a “top emerging trumpeter” by Downbeat Magazine, featured on a Travel Channel documentary and has played with such diverse artists as Branford Marsalis to Hootie and the Blowfish. His critically acclaimed debut CD Token Tales is being played around the globe.

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