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MP3 Tony Campise - First Takes

Liquid and breathless tenor stylings. In his interpretation of blues and jazz standards and in his own compositions, reedman Tony Campise shows his deep immersion in and understanding of these idioms.

8 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo, JAZZ: Bebop

"If ever there was proof that Texas makes ''em bigger than life, Tony Campise is it." His talent surpasses the usual saxophone player. He is virtually a master of any woodwind instrument, including the tenor and alto saxophone, piccolo, flute, and bass flute. His consummate artistry has been widely recognized by such diverse talents as Willie Nelson, Joe Henderson, Eric Johnson, Phil Woods, Billy Gibbons, and Lyle Lovett.

Campise''s first professional breakthrough occurred in the mid-70''s, when he was invited to play lead alto in the Stan Kenton band. After years of constant touring, Campise returned to Texas and backed a number of world class artists. A who''s who list of disparate names includes: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Lyle Lovett, Arnett Cobb, Sarah Vaughan, Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes, Joe Henderson, and Lee Konitz. Clint Eastwood, upon recommendation from Lennie Niehaus (who wrote sound tracks for "Bird" and "Unforgiven"), became a Campise fan while in Austin filming "A Perfect World". Campise continues to lead his own band and a big band on a regular basis, plays jazz fests, does saxophone clinics currently representing Boosey & Hawkes Keilwerth saxophones and selectively records as a sideman.

Tony Campise''s Once in a Blue Moon was voted for nomination as "Best Jazz Album of the Year" and "Best Instrumental Solo" by NARAS for the 1992 Grammies. The album won the Honorable Mention as "Best Jazz Album of the Year" by NAIRD. Once in a Blue Moon was in the top twenty of Billboard Jazz charts for three months, while reaching #3 on Gavin and R&R in the national radio charts. "Once in a Blue Moon" was picked as one of the top ten releases from Austin in the 90''s by Austin american Statesman writer Michael https://www.tradebit.compise''s first release on the Heart Music label, First Takes, also traveled to #3 on the Gavin charts. Campise''s third album, Ballads, Blues, and Bebop, was voted best album of the year by both Michael Point of The Austin American Statesman and Hilarie Grey of JazzTimes. Campise''s fourth album, Ballads, Blues, Bebop and Beyond was voted one of the top ten albums of 1994 by Rick Mitchell of Request Magazine and Jay Trachtenberg of the Austin Chronicle. Campise was voted Best Horn Player and Best Jazz Band at the 1995 Austin Music Awards during South By Southwest.

Tony Campise''s Strange Beauty displays the lyrical side of Campise with ballads such as "Try To Remember", "Stardust" & "Guess I''ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry". There are also seven exciting new originals and a burning version of "The Flintstones". "Big, breathy tenor tone".."Fat, juicy, soulful wail".."Liquid and breathless tenor stylings" all describe Campise''s bluesy approach to jazz. Joining Campise are Ed Soph, John Adams and Fred Hamilton who are all North Texas State University professors for percussion, bass and guitar, respectively. Ed Soph has toured with Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Clark Terry, Bill Evans, Joe Henderson and Phil Woods, while recording on hundreds of records. John Adams toured with Woody Herman and Zoot Sims, while he has recorded or performed with Randy Brecker, Chet Baker, Tony Bennett and Rosemary Clooney. Joe LoCascio, a long time associate of Campise, has performed or recorded with Chet Baker, Ernie Watts, Freddie Hubbard, George Mraz and George Coleman. Fred Hamilton''s first band included Bill Frisell, while Fred has recorded with Art Lande, Paul McCandless and Rob Mullins. Each artist has developed their own individual style and sound that is readily identifiable. It only made sense to take advantage of their impeccable empathy as well as their individual artistry to form a cohesive and interactive group. My favorite songs are the originals by Joe LoCascio such as the dark "Ballad of Chet Baker", the straight-ahead energetic "Strays" and "Love Comes Quietly", the beautiful optimism of "Christopher", the soulful, bluesy "Mr. Lott" and the lyrical "Closer". There are few players around who can play ballads with as much soul and conviction as Campise. Listen to "Try to Remember", "Guess I''ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry", "End of a Love Affair", "What''ll I Do" and "Stardust". The remaining two tunes are the interactive flute, bass, guitar and piano work on the title track "Strange Beauty" and the burning version of "Flintstones", where everyone shines. (Ed Soph was also the drummer on the Clark Terry version twenty years ago.) Even though Campise has always surrounded himself with some of the best players around, Strange Beauty brings together five world class players who are all artists in their own right. This session brings together the musicianship and the individual artistry that makes a record timeless.

Tony Campise is genuine, and completely free of pretention. He brings distinct and original voices to every instrument that he touches. He can make his tenor subtone with the power and depth of Ben Webster, moan like Dexter Gordon, and growl and flutter-tongue into the altissimo in the tradition of Junior Walker. His alto can rip through bop changes like a hot knife through butter, soaring up to a fourth octave D that will chill your spine. Whether he''s crying a melancholy melody on bass flute or singing the blues in his uniquely down-and-dirty vocal style, the effect is soulful and brilliantly original."

"Smooth fat sound... so much soul and expression that he could build an entire solo on a single bent note... Campise''s approach is timeless!" -– Bob McCullough, Boston Phoenix

"Bluesy lightning bolts ignite with neonized art deco hues ... Huge talent, consummate artistry ..." -– Chuck Berg, JazzTimes

"Soulful... Rich with imagination, lyricism, and wit... Breathtaking!" -– Brad Buchholz, Dallas Morning News

"In his interpretation of blues and jazz standards and in his own compositions, reedman Tony Campise shows his deep immersion in and understanding of these idioms. His ability to meld these forms into stirring sketches underscores both his prowess and his ability to insinuate soul into the music." -– Rohan Preston, Chicago Tribune

”His energetic and endlessly expressive musical creations echo a historic tradition and update it to the space age, embellishing and expanding the classic sound with brilliant new extrapolations." -– Michael Point, DownBeat

"A fat, juicy, soulful wail that practically jumps out and grabs you. A bluesy and brilliant ride..." -– Skip Pearlman, CD-Sounds NY

"Liquid and breathless tenor stylings ... genius... Is there anything this guy can''t do?" -– Tim Carman, Houston Post

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