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Trombonist Curtis Fuller is truly a jazz legend. He has recorded with John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Benny Golson and many others. His latest recording I Will Tell Her
(June 22, Capri Records), is dedicated to his wife of 34 years who passed away a few weeks before the CD was finished. The title track was written by Curtis over 40 years ago and has never before been recorded.
The band includes Fuller with tenor saxophonist Keith Oxman, trumpeter Al Hood, pianist Chip Stephens, bassist Ken Walker and drummer Todd Reid. These musicians were also featured on Oxman's Dues In Progress
Capri release from 2006. Oxman and Fuller met in 2005 and formed an immediate close friendship. The bond was solidified when Curtis' wife Cathy became ill. Keith has been a solid friend, he's the first one I called the morning my wife died," Fuller said. He's been there for me and I appreciate it." Oxman helped to boost Fuller up emotionally and worked tirelessly on the new CD.
In addition to being a Capri artist, Oxman is the music director at East High School in Denver. Every year when Fuller came to Denver, a performance was scheduled for the kids at East High. This year, Fuller turned down a lucrative tour in Poland in order to be come in to play with Oxman. He's been my rock and armor," says Fuller about Oxman. In spite of their 25-year difference in age and drastically different backgrounds, they both speak the same languagejazz. As Fuller says: We are the same, it's really weird."
Fuller says Oxman's style and demeanor reminded him of John Coltrane. Fuller was great friends with Coltrane, and they played together on several major albums including the famed Blue Train
The first disc in this 2-CD set is made up of the studio recordings. The second disc was recorded live at the Dazzle nightclub in Denver where Fuller has performed with Oxman each of the last 5 years. The Dazzle gig is what makes this band so tight and was integral in preparing for the studio recording.
The majority of tunes on I Will Tell Her are originals by Fuller with a few classics from the pens of Sonny Rollins, Kenny Dorham and Billy Eckstine. Fuller considers this recording to be the best he has done in many years. It may be in part due to the relationship with Oxman. I am so proud to be on this and a part of it," Oxman said.
Capri Records is a leading independent label started by record collector, jazz enthusiast and entrepreneur Tom Burns. Launched in 1983 with a release by tenor saxophonist Spike Robinson, the Bailey, Colorado-based label now has a catalog of over one hundred titles including those by bassists Ray Brown and Red Mitchell, trombonists Al Grey and Phil Wilson, saxophonist Bud Shank and drummer Louie Bellson. Over the years Capri has helped launch the careers of a number of artists, including trumpeter Ron Miles, flutist Holly Hofmann, composer/arranger Chie Imaizumi and the John Clayton/Jeff Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Capri Records has been named Best Jazz Label" in Denver's Westword Newspaper. In the past three decades, Capri has released stellar albums by the Jeff Hamilton trio, the Mark Masters Ensemble, the Grachan Moncur III Octet, saxophonists Bud Shank with Phil Woods, guitarist Joshua Breakstone, drummer Jeff Hamilton, pianist Mike Wofford, pianist Michael Pagan, clarinetist Ken Peplowski, flutist Holly Hofmann (recently with pianist Bill Cunliffe,) trombonist John Fedchock, guitarist Graham Dechter, saxophonist Keith Oxman, trombonist Phil Wilson, the Curtis Fuller sextet, and many others.