"KANSAS CITY TRUMPET SUMMIT" CD RELEASED
September 2013 -- Stan Kessler, Hermon Mehari and Mike Metheny are established members of the current Kansas City jazz scene. And as trumpeters they represent unique yet compatible styles.
Stan Kessler has been one of KC's most prominent performers, bandleaders and educators since the 1970s. His tenure with the popular group "Sons of Brasil" is now in its 22nd year, and he has been voted "Best Horn Player" in numerous area polls. Stan and Mike go back to their student days in the Kansas City Youth Symphony.
Hermon Mehari, still in his 20s, represents with distinction the future of jazz, both in Kansas City and beyond. "Diverse" is his primary band and in 2008 he was the winner of the National Trumpet Competition Jazz Division. Hermon can be heard on the self-titled Diverse CD as well as with various jazz groups throughout the Midwest.
Mike Metheny has been a performer, music journalist and educator in his hometown of Kansas City since returning in 1992 after 13 years in Boston, six of those as an instructor at Berklee. From 1994 to 2003 Mike was the editor of JAM, Kansas City's Jazz Ambassador Magazine, and since 1982 he has released ten solo albums.
A first-rate KC-based rhythm section is onboard for this special "Trumpet Summit" and it too spans different generations. Pianist T.J. Martley and drummer Brian Steever, also in their 20s, are taking the music forward with skill and fresh inspiration. And bassist/KC jazz veteran Gerald Spaits has performed with just about anyone you can name, including Marilyn Maye, Jay McShann and Claude "Fiddler" Williams.
"This recording was inspired by a 'Trumpet Summit' gig at 18th & Vine's Blue Room in October of 2012," says Mike Metheny, who also produced this CD. "It was such a positive experience that we just had to get the group into the studio."
"It is a pleasure to be associated with such outstanding talent," Mike adds. "And as the old-timer in this band, it keeps me practicing."
2013 METHENY MUSIC FOUNDATION SUMMER STUDIES SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED
On May 17, 2013, at Lee's Summit City Hall, 3rd & Green -- the same corner in downtown Lee's Summit where Mike and Pat's father's Dodge dealership once stood -- Mike met with the 2013 Metheny Music Foundation (MMF) scholarship winners to award them their certificates. For more about the 2013 scholarships and other MMF news and information, visit the Foundation's website at: http://www.methenymusicfoundation.org.
2013 METHENY MUSIC FOUNDATION "KNIGHT AWARD" WINNER ANNOUNCED
On Saturday, March 9, 2013, Mike appeared onstage as part of the Lee's Summit (MO) Symphony Orchestra's "Family Pops" concert to present the Metheny Music Foundation's first "Knight Award" college scholarship to Lee's Summit North senior and vocalist Patrick Graham. Mike also performed "One Note Samba" with the LSSO's rhythm section. For more about this and other MMF news and information, please visit the Foundation's website at: http://www.methenymusicfoundation.org.
2012 METHENY MUSIC FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED
On Saturday, May 5, 2012, Mike appeared onstage with the director of the Lee's Summit (MO) Symphony, Russ Berlin (who is also a Metheny Music Foundation board member) to award the Foundation's annual music camp and summer studies scholarships. For more about the 2012 scholarships and other MMF news and information, visit the Foundation's website at: http://www.methenymusicfoundation.org.
Mike's 10th Solo Recording is Released.
May 2011 -- Trumpeter Mike Metheny's tenth solo album is a compilation of previously released recordings covering a 20-year period and a wide range of styles. Also included is a fresh version of a track first released in 2001.
Mike, who favors the flugelhorn and EVI (electronic valve instrument), grew up near Kansas City, Missouri, where he now lives. For 13 years in the 1970s and '80s he was based in Boston. Featured on this sampler are some of the best jazz musicians from both cities. They are: Brad Hatfield, Dick Odgren, Paul Smith, Roger Wilder (piano and keyboards); Marshall Wood, Bob Bowman, Gerald Spaits (acoustic bass); Bob Savine, Todd Strait, Tommy Ruskin, Brandon Draper (drums); Rod Fleeman, Danny Embrey (guitar); Olga Román (voice); and special guest on one track, guitarist Pat Metheny.
In addition to saluting past and present colleagues with this CD, Mike says there were other factors that led to its release.
"Strictly in terms of my own contributions to nine other solo projects, I've always felt there might be a single good album. So, in many ways, this is the record I wish I'd made years ago.
"It's also a career summary of sorts. There are the Boston and Kansas City musicians, there's flugel and EVI, there's jazz and classical, ballads, bossas and bebop. It's a 12-track, 59-minute set that represents everything in a pretty comprehensive and complete kind of way.
"But most of all it is a reminder of how lucky I've been to collaborate with such talented people over the years... and how much fun it can be when things come together in the studio."
For sound clips and ordering information, please go to "Recordings."
And for the YouTube support video, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54mVdwdGss4.
OTHER MIKE METHENY NEWS
Mike can also be heard (and seen) in several videos promoting the Metheny Music Foundation. Currently playing on YouTube are "Pages from the Scrapbook," part 1 and part 2, and Mike "in the woodshed" with the EVI (electronic valve instrument). Adagio for Maya" from "60.1" also has its own YouTube video.
And the International Trumpet Guild (online) has published Mike's instructional article "Jazz Improvisation as a Language." Mike was also the subject of a Q&A interview in the January 2006 edition of the ITG Journal. See below.
After conducting over 50 Q&A interviews for Kansas City's Jazz
Ambassador Magazine from 1994 to 2003, Mike has been on the other side of several, including:
INTERNATIONAL TRUMPET GUILD JOURNAL (CLICK HERE)
January 2006 (Vol. 30, #2) (ITG web site: www.trumpetguild.org)
JAZZ IMPROV MAGAZINE (Autumn 2004 issue; Vol. 5 #1) http://www.jazzimprov.com
JAZZ AMBASSADOR MAGAZINE (Feb/March 2004)
Mike also continues to wear his writer's hat as the author of a profile of the Kansas City jazz scene in the May 2005 issue of Kansas
City Magazine (in which he was the subject of his own profile, July 2006); the liner
notes for "Super-singer," (click link for PDF file), Marilyn Maye's musical tribute to Johnny Carson; plus other freelance writing projects.
WHAT THEY'VE SAID ABOUT "A KANSAS CITY TRUMPET SUMMIT"
"This is not a 'cutting contest' but rather an aggregation of very talented musicians (and arrangers) clearly having fun making music." -- (Kansas City) Jazz Ambassador Magazine
"The Kansas City jazz scene is thriving these days, and one strong piece of evidence of that comes from trumpeters Stan Kessler, Hermon Mehari, and Mike Metheny on their CD, A Kansas City Trumpet Summit. Kessler and Metheny have been two of the stalwarts of the scene for many years, as is the bassist here, Gerald Spaits, and the new generation of KC players is served well by Mehari, pianist T.J. Martley and drummer Brian Steever. This is no wild extravaganza of 'can you top this?' pyrotechnics, but rather an exercise in melodicism. All three shine on the swinging Charlie Parker tune, Segment, that opens the proceedings. There's two by Jobim, and Mike Metheny uses his EVI (electronic valve instrument) to good effect on So Danco Samba and on a lovely, little heard Bill Evans tune, Comrade Conrad. Mehari shines on Body and Soul. It's a polished, gorgeous CD, but I would love to have a live recording where everyone cuts loose more (as all three can). -- Bob McWilliams, "Jazz in the Night" (Kansas Public Radio).
WHAT THEY'VE SAID ABOUT "60.1"
"Mike Metheny has returned with a new disc that demonstrates his immense talent as a flugelhorn artist. 60.1 is also a date where Metheny's mastery of the EVI is apparent on several deeply compelling tracks." -- "The Last Call," KIOS 91.5 FM (Omaha, NE)
"...the entirety of 60.1 is characterized by Metheny's artistic restlessness, adventurous spirit and stupendous musicality." -- plasticsax.blogspot.com
"... this is a collection of Kansas City talent I treasure." -- kcjazzlark.blogspot.com
"This CD is like a box of chocolates... Mike is playing jazz for the new century." -- International Music Forum (New Zealand)
"A brilliant effort by a venerated fixture of the jazz landscape, 60.1 will resonate profoundly with serious jazz lovers as well as those with more eclectic tastes. Bravo, Mike Metheny, for musically journeying where few dare to go." -- iTunes, CDBaby (reviewed by Michael Pagán)
To listen to the "60.1" Jazz Online podcast, please click here.
WHAT THEY'VE SAID ABOUT "KC POTPOURRI"
"Intriguing, impressive, and easy on the ears, KC Potpourri is one of the better
big band albums to come along in quite a while." — Jazziz Magazine.
"...as you experience the passion and feeling during 'Always and Forever' (written
by brother Pat), you will get the gene connection. Incredible interpretation,
amazing solo. One of my favorites. ...And don't miss Metheny's take on Jobim's
'How Insensitive,' which, in my opinion, defines Mike's musical voice." — www.radioio.com.
"This is a CD you just can't stop listening to. Mike Metheny's flugelhorn is
so pure and human a sound that it is mesmerizing." — International Trumpet
"Overall, this is Mike Metheny's most rewarding recording to date and well worth
acquiring."— L.A. Jazz Scene.
WHAT THEY'VE SAID ABOUT "CLOSE ENOUGH FOR LOVE"
"I haven't a clue as to how (Mike) coaxes such warm, shapely, full-toned, and
sensitive sounds out of a bent brass tube. Even when he plays with a mute, or
on his trusty Electronic Valve Instrument, you're never in doubt that the man
behind the horn is a real person, with real feelings." — Terry Teachout
(from the liner notes to "Close Enough for Love").
"One of the most interesting aspects of the album is the range of sound and expression
Metheny is able to extract from the synthesizer sounds of the EVI..."— Los
"Whether Mike is gracefully blowing the muted cornet, flugelhorn or tearing it
up on EVI (which he does often), his signature warm pitch and emotive musical
demeanor is profoundly present throughout this entire recording.."— JazzOnline
"On this CD, Mike Metheny has produced a modern song cycle: eclectic, cohesive,
and very enjoyable." — All Music Guide
WHAT THEY'VE SAID ABOUT "BACK TO BASICS"
"(Back to Basics) is a beautiful collection of mostly classical masterpieces
adapted for Mike and two other players. I highly recommend it. — Patchman
"(Back to Basics) presents a genuine lesson in music history for the student,
and provides an enjoyable reflection on classical music for the veteran listener.
...(It) opens doors for those who want to learn about the relationship between
classical music and modern jazz. ...What a treat for aspiring students of any
age!" — L.A. Jazz Scene
"'Homage,' the only representative of Metheny's compositional acuity, is a well-crafted
brass ensemble piece that ends with the highlight of the album, a powerful and
harmonically rich fanfare."
— Jazz Improv Magazine