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The Steve Huffsteter Big Band
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Great musicians like these can make music sound good the first time through. But when they put in the time, as these do, to rehearse these pieces every week, to explore every nuance, then the magic happens. These are the guys who have made my dream come to life.

REEDS:

Kim Richmond - Another of the geniuses that kept me doubting myself. One of L.A.'s major talents. A composer of great scope who has worked with virtually everyone on the West Coast from Stan Kenton to Bob Florence. Featured on "The Quest".

Bill Perkins - Truly a legend in his own time. In addition to his lifetime of historic recordings, he had a separate career as a sound engineer and was the holder of a number of patents, including the electric saxophone. Never one to rest on his laurels, Perc constantly modified his style to keep up with the times. Perc beat cancer so many times [2 weeks after an operation he'd be back wailing] it came as a great shock to us all when he succumbed August 9, 2003, just months after this recording. This DVD is dedicated to the memory of Bill Perkins.

Jerry Pinter - My partner in the Cecilia Coleman Quintet [my favorite band]. Jerry's subtle playing first came to notice on the East Coast with Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson. Since coming west he has become a favorite on the L.A. jazz scene.

Doug Webb - Doug has been playing in my bands for the last decade. During that time, he has become a major figure on the L.A. music scene, featured on over 150 albums of such diverse artists as Stanley Clarke and Rod Stewart.

Jim Cowger - My secret. Jim has a very successful music copying service [he's one who takes the notes from the score to the parts], so not that many people know what a great reedist he is. While he is confined to the lower reeds in my band, he is a master of the higher as well. He is heard on Fool's Silver. [The Silver referred to is, of course, Horace, my friend and mentor. My proudest credit is that I have worked for Horace Silver].

TRUMPETS

Mike McGuffey - Our hero. Mike plays the high notes on the trumpet. But his talent goes far beyond that. Classical training [his father played trumpet with the American Symphony] and practical experience has molded Mike into a player of depth as well as of strength. He may be heard playing lead on both Bob Florence's and Kim Richmond's lastest CD's and recently auditioned for the Los Angeles Symphony.

Lee Thornburg - Trained as a classical trumpeter, Lee came to fame as a rocker with Tower of Power. His scope and artistic flexibility have made him Los Angeles' busiest player. Currently [along with everything else] holding down the trumpet chair on the Tonight Show.

Larry Mcguire - I met Larry soon after I came to L.A. He was in my first rehearsal band. A veteran of, among others, the Harry James band. We have fought the trumpet wars together for many decades most notably on the Mike Barone Band during the Donte's years and for a lucrative season on the Donald O'Conner Show. Larry recently won a tennis tournament.

Buddy Childers - Our other Living Legend. From the time he joined Stan Kenton and Tommy Dorsey while still in his teens, Buddy has set the bar for lead trumpeters very high. Playing under Buddy [and Larry McGuire] on the fabled Mike Barone band was one of the greatest times of my life. Later we played and recorded great music together with Toshiko Akiyoshi and Bob Florence. He was Sinatra's 1st trumpet for years. In my band, Buddy is the guy I give the melody to when I want it played just right. Buddy is also a fine arranger and has his own star-studded big band which he works in the Los Angeles area with great success.

Jack Feierman - Jack is my 1st call trumpet sub. He can [in spite of his 75 years] cover any of the trumpet books. He has high notes that would be phenomenal for a player of any age. His main occupation, however is as a conductor for such artists as Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme. He subbed on this DVD for Lee Thornburg, who was coming later from the Tonight Show.

TROMBONES

Jack Redmond - Jack was in my first rehearsal band in 1961. He was with the Dorsey band and was/is 1st 'bone with Les Brown and Bill Holman for decades. As with all these guys who have been in L.A. for ages he has innumerable recordings, shows and films to his credits.

Jock Ellis - My bro. We have spent many joyful hours playing Bach together. Jock is another classical player who ended up playing rock music, most notably in his case with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.

Les Benedict - If it's a brass instrument, Les plays it. His recording credits go on for pages and include such names as Bette Midler, Joe Jawinul, Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones. We play together in several of Clare Fischer's ensembles. Les is also busy as an educator.


Morris Repass - Formerly bass trombone with the Dallas Symphony, Morris is one of the many fine musicians who have come to Los Angeles to ply their trade in the studios, where they anonymously churn out perfect music for the entertainment industry. We are happy to give Morris a chance to be seen as well as heard.

RHYTHM

Jamie Findley [guitar] - An endless source of enthusiasm, Jamie seems to love being in the band as much as we love having him. His is a crucial and ever-changing role that requires much in the way of taste and good judgment. The guitar students at GIT, where he teaches, are fortunate to have a teacher who is so avid a musician. Jamie is featured on "3 1/2" and "Autumn Returns".

Mark Massey [piano] - If it's possible to be more enthusiastic than Jamie, Mark is. His job is really hard then because much of the time, he is required by me to sit and do nothing! But when I need him, as in "Circles" and "Autumn Returns", he's there with a will and a way.

Kevin Axt [bass] - My bass player. If it only ended there. But he's also Chuck Mangioni's bass player and Natalie Cole's. Where does that leave me? Without my favorite bass player most of the time. Fortunately, since I live in Los Angeles, I have a long list of world-class bassists that are available to me [the richest of riches] but there's only one Kevin Axt.

Dave Tull [drums] - The same story as Kevin. It’s just not the same without Dave. It's still great with some of the other wonderful drummers but no one knows the music like Dave. He is also with Mangioni so there go most weekends [Lighten up, Chuck!]. My dream is to become so successful that I get first dibs on Kevin and Dave. Always dream big. Dave has other talents. He has written a hilarious tune called, " I Just Want To Get Paid" that could become an anthem for musicians. In addition to writting the tune, Dave has scored it for big band and sings it to perfection.

D Huffsteter [percussion] - Sometimes you get more than you bargain for. We had been together for some time before I began to realize that D had great time. Turns out that in addition to once having been a dancer, she had toyed with the drums to the point of teaching all of her 3 sons to play. One, Steve Nerren, had become a professional in the Dallas area, where, at one time he was working with Red Garland. So I got her some congas and rhythm toys and soon she was going to rehearsals and gigs with me and then to rehearsals and gigs without me. Then she had to give it all up and take care of her mother for a decade. [Momma was a darling lady who sang much like Ella Fitzgerald and used to sit in with Chick Webb when he came through town]. Now she just plays with us and as a fan said to her recently, "D, you're the driving force in this band".

Title Gathered Around
Artist The Steve Huffsteter Big Band
Label AIX Records
Release Date 03/06/2007


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Order Of Distinction
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