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MP3 Steve Rudolph & Tom Strohman - In Our Prime

Mainstream Jazz Quartet performing post bop, Latin and fusion tunes - Steve Rudolph - piano, Tom Strohman - sax, Steve Varner - bass & Bill Goodwin - drums

10 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo, JAZZ: Bebop

"In Our Prime" (RLCD1060) jazz quartet CD featuring woodwind artist Tom Strohman and pianist Steve Rudolph. Drawing on a musical friendship that has endured for over twenty years, Tom & Steve have recorded an album of creative jazz accompanied by Grammy winning drummer Bill Goodwin and the superb bassist Steve Varner. Their last recording together was twenty years ago and produced two popular albums from the same session, Just Friends and Just Friends Again. This recording, In Our Prime, features three compositions by Rudolph, arrangements of classic Jobim and standards, and an original by Tom’s son Gregory.

Tom’s Biography:
Tom’s father was a woodwind instructor at Lebanon Valley College and started Tom on piccolo at the age of five. Tom later got his B.S. in Music Education at that school. He recently completed his M.M. in Jazz Performance from Towson University and is a former student of jazz legend Phil Woods. Tom is now an Assistant Professor and Saxophone instructor at Lebanon Valley College. He has co-led the popular group Third Stream for over 25 years, producing several recodings and performing at many concerts and festivals. He produced and directed clinics on "Jazz Improvisation", Jazz Styles and Analysis" and "Jazz History" and has performed with Buddy DeFranco, Johnny Coles, Ira Sullivan, Dave Stahl, Phil Wilson, Bobby Rosengarten, Sonny and Cher, Eddie Fisher, Della Reese, Patti Page. He also and recorded several sessions with with rock and roll legends Johnny Winter and Dan Hartman.

Steve’s Biography:
Originally form Indiana and a professional musician since 1967, Steve settled in Harrisburg in 1978 after a year of touring with Buddy Morrow and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Steve has been a featured soloist with the Harrisburg Symphony and Miami’s New World Symphony. He won the Jazziz Magazine/Seven Springs Jazz Festival Jazz Piano Competition in 1999 and was presented as an "Emerging Artist" at the ’98 Jazz Times Convention in Manhattan. He has toured and recorded in Europe and has several CDs available on the R&L Records label - "Everything I Love", with Roger Humphries, Dwayne Dolphin & Steve Varner; "Pure Imagination" with Bill Goodwin, Robin Work and Paul Langosch; "Music for Romance" available in Crabtree & Evelyn stores (USA); Christmas with the Steve Rudolph Trio featuring Paul Langosch and Matt Wilson; "You & I" with vocalist Cathy Chemi; and the Rudolph/Valentino project, "Romance", featuring guitarist Vinny Valentino, Larry Gray and Bob Moses. Steve is a past president and founder of the Central PA Friends of Jazz, one of America’s most successful jazz societies.

The Band:
Drummer Bill Goodwin was born in Los Angeles, California in 1942 and is an almost completely self-taught drummer. From 1959 to the present, Goodwin has been a professional drummer, playing with Bill Evans, Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper, Jim Hall, George Shearing and Bobby Hutcherson, and singers such as June Christy, Joe Williams, Tony Bennett and Manhattan Transfer. The drum chair with Gary Burton brought him to the East Coast in 1969. After a three year stint with Burton''s group Bill settled down in an old farmhouse in the Poconos and worked the resorts. It was there that he and bassist Steve Gilmore became a team. Goodwin, like Gilmore, is a charter member of The Phil Woods Quartet (now Quintet), joining at it''s inception in February 1974. Bill Goodwin has produced all of the The Phil Woods Quartet/Quintet and Little Big Band recordings since 1980 including the Grammy Award winning albums MORE LIVE (Adelphi), AT THE VANGUARD (Antilles) and the 1992 Grammy nominee ALL BIRD''S CHILDREN (Concord Jazz).

Bassist Steve Varner is originally from Tennessee and played electric bass for most of his musical career. He moved to Central PA in the mid ‘80’s and performed countless jobs with Steve, Tom and other musicians in the area. Steve started playing upright bass in 1995 and has played with Terry Clark, Johnny Coles, Joe Morello, Bob Moses among many others. He recently moved to northern New Jersey and is active in the New York jazz scene, touring with Pat Martino, Tierney Sutton and others.

Tom’s liner notes:
Music entered my life at an early age. My Grandma Strohman used to play records for me when I was two years old. I''ve been told that I used to tell her which ones to play, although I have no idea how I made these decisions. I''ve also been told that I would stand up in the playpen and conduct along with my father''s private music students and correct their mistakes by singing the note (or notes) they were supposed to play.
I don''t remember any of this. However, I do remember coming home from Sunday School and hearing the music of Ray Anthony, Glenn Miller, Harry James, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw playing on our record player. My reaction? I told my father to "turn it off. Music like that shouldn''t be played on Sunday!" I told him. My idea was to listen to the Poet and Peasant Overture by Franz von Suppe, which at the time was my favorite piece of music. Little did I know my tastes would change.
At the age of six, I went to my father and announced to him that I wanted to play an instrument. When he asked me which one, I told him I saw it in the closet. I came back with the piccolo. Dad was "smart enough" to allow me to play, going against the standard practice of waiting until fourth grade and starting on the flute. I "fell in love" with it. The flute followed at age seven, the alto sax at twelve, and the rest of the instruments later.
At age fifteen, I decided to make music my life. My first interest was in performance. Initially, I wanted to be a studio musician. Through my college years, I developed a strong interest in teaching. At present I am able to do both. Most days, I feel like the luckiest person alive. So here I am, at age forty-eight, with the opportunity to "make music" with some of the countries greatest musicians. It has been a long, wonderful ride, performing music in clubs, churches, concert halls, parks, hotels, jails, retirement villages, country clubs, colleges, elementary schools, military reservations, hospitals, fire halls, art galleries, corn fields and parades, for governors, senators, convicts, ministers, doctors, patients, teachers, students, attorneys, retired people, refugees and little children in everything from 105 degree heat to snow and freezing rain. I wouldn''t trade it for anything. Tom Strohman

The Songs:
1. T.C.’s Tune - Steve Rudolph 5:00 A swinging introduction with Tom on tenor sax
2. Close Enough For Love - Johnny Mandel 7:15 Just Tom on clarinet and Steve at the piano with a medium tempo version of this lovely Mandel ballad
3. Festival - Steve Rudolph 5:55 Bill & Steve join in on this spirited latin original
4. Meaning of the Blues - Bobby Troup 6:56 Tom’s flute speaks volumes on this composition by the Central PA native Bobby Troup
5. Old Devil Moon - Burton Lane 6:48 A new twist on an old favorite with the quartet and Tom on alto sax
6. Luisa - Antonio Carlos Jobim 7:07 A duet featuring this ¾ gem from Jobim with Tom on flute
7. Covenant - Steve Rudolph 5:35 The full quartet perform this Rudolph original written for Covenant Church in Harrisburg where "Jazz in the Sanctuary" sessions were held for several years. This one has a gospel flavor with tricky time changes.
8. Jitterbug Waltz - Fats Waller 6:42 Tom on flute and Steve at the piano in an uptempo version of this jazz classic.
9. Modinha - Antonio Carlos Jobim 7:16 Slow bossa with Tom’s beautiful sound on flute
10. Scherzo for Summertime - Gregory Strohman 3:55 A medium 5/4 tune penned by Tom’s talented fourteen-year-old son, Gregory

Music arranged by Steve Rudolph & Tom Strohman
Produced by Tom Strohman & Steve Rudolph for R&L Records

Recorded and Mastered at Red Rock Studios, Saylorsburg, PA, Kent Heckman, Engineer

Steve’s liner notes:
I fell off the Dorsey Band bus in 1978 with a two month contract to perform at the Holiday Inn Town''s Dauphin Lounge. We had been in Harrisburg playing a concert at The Forum, the local state theater, and were staying at the Holiday. While practicing in the hotel the new manager heard me play and invited me to perform there regularly. After giving Buddy Morrow two weeks notice, I returned with a trio and featured guest artists six nights a week. The gig lasted for almost two years and was the best paid school I ever attended. Backing up the greatest musicians in the world every night was a thrill and a serious challenge. Featured artists included Bob Mintzer, John Von Ohlen, Joe Lovano, Ira Sullivan, Cal Collins, Eric Kloss, Jr. Cook, Frank Smith, Sal Nistico, Al Kiger, Johnny Coles and many more.
Shortly after arriving in Harrisburg, I was asked to go hear a "local" band. The group Third Stream was performing an afternoon concert at a summer camp facility and the featured soloist was Tom Strohman. I remember wondering what an artist of his stature was doing living around Central PA. (Little did I know that I would end up staying here for all these years!) Shortly after hearing him, I invited Tom to play at the Holiday and we struck up a relationship that has grown through the years. We last recorded together in 1980 on the Just Friends and Just Friends Again albums that featured some of the area’s best musicians. This recording, In Our Prime, is way overdue. Hopefully we won''t procrastinate as in the past and we''ll turn out another one in the next few years. Otherwise, we might have to call the next one - In Our Assisted Living Quarters.
Thanks to:
The musicians for sharing their best efforts in this project. Bill Goodwin and Steve Varner are both great artists and were extremely supportive of Tom and I.
Kent Heckman and Red Rock Studios for the excellent sound, piano, and relaxed atmosphere.
Tom''s fourteen year old son Gregory for Scherzo for Summertime.
My loving wife Andy and step-daughter Katie, for tolerating the endless hours that I spend working on these projects. I love you.

Steve Rudolph

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