Skylark, a CD featuring jazz vocalist Tom Lellis with the Netherlands’ Metropole Orchestra was released for the first time in the U.S. on the Adventure Music label this May.  The CD features two charts of Chuck’s for the renowned orchestra:  Taken to Heart (an original by Tom) and Straight Up and Down (Chick Corea).  It was originally released by NPS in 1999.  John Clayton conducts.

For the first time, some of Chuck’s small group works will be made readily available in addition to those recorded by the Jazz Surge.  Charts from two releases by Surge tenor saxophonist & USF Director of Jazz Studies, Jack Wilkins (Ridgelines & Dear Old Stockholm), will be made available exactly as they were recorded.  In addition, Chuck has adapted the haunting ballad, “A Ridge Away” for big band.  Premiered by the Oregon All-State Jazz Ensemble, this chart is readily playable by most high school ensembles – particularly those with a strong tenor soloists.

Click on Cover for list of Selections and Samples

The Comet’s Tail: Performing the Compositions of Michael Brecker” is garnering rave reviews just weeks after being released by MAMA Records.
– “Sensational.  One of the year’s great jazz discs.”  – Buffalo News
– “A truly outstanding recording.  Explosively played. . . . larger than life versions. . . .opulent far beyond anything that might be construed as conventional.   Deserving of universal attention.”  – Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide
– “This one’s a memorable gem.”  – Jazziz
– “Throughout my 27 years at WBGO, quite a few “tribute” records have come across my desk. I have to tell you “Comet’s Tail” is certainly one of the finest, capturing the spirit, passion, brilliance and magnificent compositions we all enjoyed through Michael’s genius.  An extremely well told tale of this comet!” – WBGO Music Director, Gary Walker.
– “Incredible, fantastic, and a true masterpiece of music.  Not only one of the better big band recordings I have ever heard but also one of the best recordings . . . . .ever.”   Harry Schnipper, Exec. Dir., Blues Alley, Wash., DC

A departure from previous Surge releases, this one is produced in tandem with the USF Center for Jazz Composition and pays tribute to the compositions of jazz icon, Michael Brecker, by re-envisioning them through the eyes of various arrangers including frequent Brecker collaborators, Gil Goldstein & Vince Mendoza, Vancouver composer Fred Stride (winner of the CJC’s International Jazz Arranging Competition), Dave Stamps, and, of course, Chuck himself.  Joining the Surge are a host of special guests (Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Mike Mainieri, Adam Nussbaum, & Mike Stern) all of whom shared the bandstand on numerous occasions with Brecker.  Also back in a prominent role is Rob Thomas, NY based violinist extraordinaire.

Peep – Listen to clip

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