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MP3 Rich Willey & Boptism - JAZZ: Bebop

Straight-ahead, Latin jazz, jazz rock, pretty ballads, and swing for people who say "I don''t like jazz."

12 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Bebop, LATIN: Latin Jazz

Personnel: Chris Potter, tenor and soprano saxophone; Claudio Roditi, trumpet; John Swana, trumpet; Joel Frahm, tenor saxophone; John Walsh, trumpet; Rich Willey, trumpet and bass trumpet; Jack Wilkins, tenor saxophone; Renato Chicco, piano; John DiMartino, piano; Larry Camp, guitar; John Webber, bass; Joris Teepe, bass; Rick Shaw, bass; Steve Berrios, drums; John Jenkins, drums; Victor Mannecchia, drums. These are the best takes from three recording sessions.


As both a player and writer, bandleader Rich Willey is firmly rooted in the jazz tradition. His trumpet and bass trumpet playing draws upon the wellspring of bebop with a contemporary freshness; brash and forceful, but also lyrical and warm. His compositions are thoughtful and substantial, yet always accessible and listenable, combining a solid sense of swing with an overriding concern for melody. During the 1980s, Rich''s playing took on an even broader range of colors when he became one of only a few jazz trumpeters to add to his arsenal the bass trumpet -- a unique instrument with the range of a trombone but the bright timbre of a trumpet -- to his musical palette.

A Florida native, Rich was active on the New York scene from the mid 1980s to the early 1990s, handling a wide range of Latin and jazz gigs, most notably, backing up the legendary vocalist, Mel Tormé. He returned to Florida for a spell, where he continued his musical studies, founded the Gulf Coast Jazz Society in Dunedin, and performed regularly in the Greater Tampa Bay area. He also is the author of "I''d Rather Be Boppin'' -- 24 Jazz Duets," Volumes 1, 2 & 3 (Boptism Music Publishing), and "Home Cookin'' -- 24 Dixie Jazz Duets" and "Jazz Improv Materials Handbook Complete -- A Melodic Approach to Jazz Improvisation."

Rich returned to NYC in 1999, enrolling in the Masters in Jazz Performance program at the renowned Manhattan School of Music, where he expanded his musical growth. He earned his master''s degree in May 2001 and spent the fall of that year on tour playing second trumpet -- the challenging "jazz chair" -- with trumpet giant Maynard Ferguson''s Big Bop Nouveau.

Also in 2001, Rich and his quintet recorded Gone With the Piggies (Consolidated Artists Productions CAP962), a striking collection of brilliantly conceived and impeccably performed tracks, including four of his own distinctive compositions.

Rich plays and teaches in the Asheville, NC, area.

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