Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


Phil Sunkel: Jazz Concert Grosso


Sign in to view read count
Phil Sunkel
Phil Sunkel was a swinging trumpeter and cornetist who never overblew his horn. Like Dick Collins, Sunkel was a tone guy who had a knack for picking choice notes and playing them beautifully, whether working up the scale or down. Sunkel began recording in the mid-1950s and led his first session—Phil Sunkel's Jazz Band—in June 1956 for ABC-Paramount. He then was a sideman on many superb dates, including Aaron Sachs's Clarinet & Co., The Gerry Mulligan Concert Band, Billy VerPlanck's Jazz for Playgirls, Lee Konitz's You and Lee, Gil Evans's Out of the Cool and Peggy Lee at Basin Street East.

But Sunkel was also a brilliant composer. A prime example of his writing skills is Jazz Concerto Grosso, an album of just three songs that was recorded for ABC-Paramount in October 1957. The title track featured Phil Sunkel (cnt), Nick Travis, Al Stewart, Don Stratton and John Wilson (tp), Frank Rehak (tb), Bob Brookmeyer (v-tb), Eddie Bert (b-tb), Don Butterfield (tu), Dick Meldonian (as), Cliff Hoff and Bill Slapin (ts), Gene Allen and Gerry Mulligan (bar), Milt Hinton (b) and Osie Johnson (d).

The other two tracks—Something for the Ladies and Song for Cornet—featured Sunkel (cnt), John Wilson (flhrn), Bob Brookmeyer (v-tb), Jim Reider (ts), Gerry Mulligan (bar), Wendell Marshall (b) and Harold Granowsky (d).

The music throughout the album swings and is smartly arranged, with a contrapuntal core. I wish I could tell you more about Sunkel but the web is all but bereft of news or information about him. Hopefully readers will fill in the blanks.

JazzWax tracks: You'll find Jazz Concerto Grosso here, on the final three tracks. The balance of the album is comprised of Phil Sunkel's Jazz Band, also a superb recording.

Continue Reading...

This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved.



Timely announcements from the industry.

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!