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MP3 Gary Denbow II - Influence

Original jazz compositions with a hard-bop flavor.

7 MP3 Songs in this album (59:27) !
Related styles: JAZZ: Contemporary Jazz, JAZZ: Post-Bop

People who are interested in Bobby Watson David Sanborn Eric Marienthal should consider this download.

My name is Gary Denbow II. I am a saxophonist, composer, arranger and bandleader living in Kansas City, MO. When I was in high school I won a number of awards playing saxophone, but I’m 34 now, and so in my mind, those awards don’t count. But since you may be curious, I’ll give you a brief run down: Superior rating at National Fine Arts Festival four years in a row, Best Soloist at several jazz festivals in Missouri several years in a row, and, interestingly enough, when I was a sophomore I won Best Soloist at the marching band competition in the old Busch Stadium in St. Louis. If I’m not the only sax player to win that award ever, I bet I’m only one of two or three. But then again, the only thing that award ever got me was a trophy about 2.5 or 3 feet high. It’s in my basement right now packed away with all the other stuff I don’t use.

After high school I did not pursue a career in music. I was busy doing other things. I moved to Minneapolis where I attended North Central University. Eventually I did get a BA in music performance, but I didn’t make an effort to use it right away. During my time in Minneapolis I played with Jason and the G-men and Cornbread Harris as a sideman. I was also a founding member of Kev’s Cool Gospel Orchestra, a big band specializing in jazz arrangements of gospel tunes. In that group I played with Bryan Duncan and opened for Denver and the Mile High Orchestra. Pete Whitman played in KCGO a few times and I had the honor of sitting next to him on the bandstand. I was a student of Pete’s from time to time.

When time came to pursue music as a career, I auditioned at and was accepted to the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. While attending the conservatory I was GTA under the great Bobby Watson for two years. I directed a jazz combo and the 11 O’clock Big Band. While a member of the Concert Jazz Ensemble – aka Bobby’s band – I played at the Montreaux and North Sea Jazz festivals. During my tenure in the band, the band performed with the following jazz greats: Ernie Andrews, Bill Paxton, Howard Johnson, Robin Eubanks and Randy Brecker. Not to mention countless performances with Bobby himself.

Influence is a collection of tunes and one song, all written by me over a period of twelve years. Some of the tunes are based on licks and bass lines that percolated inside of me that entire twelve years, and others were written in about fifteen minutes. Joining me on this recording are some of Kansas City’s finest young jazz musicians. Incredible trumpet and flugel horn player Clint Ashlock – a formidable bandleader in his own right – plays superbly. Nick Grinlinton on guitar and Will Crain on piano provide strong support and soulful solos. Mike Moellman operates not only as a strong force of propulsion, but as a sensitive and creative soloist as well. Ryan Lee on drums lights a fire under us all. This is a good record. I would buy it even if I weren’t on it. I’m sure you’ll like it too.

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