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MP3 Dean Taba - More Is More

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MP3 Dean Taba - More Is
Download MP3 Dean Taba - More Is More
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An unconventional jazz combo (two drumsets, trumpet, sax, and bass) playing original music with the occasional help of spoken word artist, Dave Allen.

12 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo, SPOKEN WORD: With Music

I am somtimes asked, "Why two drummers and no piano or guitar?" to which I can sincerely respond, "It is the only way I know how to make this sound." -Dean

An expansion of the classic sax/bass/drums trio, or perhaps a variation of the standard jazz quintet, this ensemble is a vehicle for compositions by myself, the band, and other associates, as well as an opportunity to explore familiar music (such as "A Love Supreme", "Kind of Blue", or the music of Richard and Karen Carpenter) in a somewhat unfamiliar configuration.

KENDALL KAY - drums (right)
TIM MCINTYRE - drums (left)
STEVE HUFFSTETER - trumpet/flugelhorn
ANDY SUZUKI - tenor sax
DEAN TABA - bass
special guest:
DAVE (GRUBER) ALLEN - spoken word

This unique ensemble is proud to present their debut recording on Manasus Music, self-titled "More Is More". Recorded live, binauraly to DAT, this CD accurately represents the band in it's most natural environment. Leadsheets for the music on this CD are available (free of charge) for download at Dean's website.



"Bassist Dean Taba has made quite an impression on the L.A. Jazz scene in a decade of straight-ahead gigs with the best and brightest of our local artists. His walking bass leads this session of innovative originals. Recorded last August at The Baked Potato and at the Los Angeles Music Academy, Taba's program features two drummers: one on the left and one on the right. Fortunately, the mix keeps both rhythm masters in perspective. Tenor saxophonist Andy Suzuki and trumpeter Steve Huffsteter provide the melody, as well as mood-defining harmonies. The two drum sets give Taba's session a driving spark. Both Kendall Kay and Tim McIntyre enhance from the sides. Dave Allen narrates a unique, improvised piece about living in L.A. Taba leads with the force of Charles Mingus, changing tempos as he wishes, when he sees fit. His "Think of Juan" is a piece inspired by the classic confrontation between Mingus and Juan Tizol one night when both were working with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. With his extended composition, Taba captures that Mingus touch, which is always a joy to discover in modern jazz. Passion, dramatic fury, and a healthy dose of swing combine to form one exotic adventure. Four of the tracks may be sampled at The bassist's album ranks as one of the best of 2003."

- Jim Stanella (L.A. Jazz Scene)


"East coast writers used to make jokes about the "West Coast school of Jazz," but for all I know that distinction was dreamt up by John O'Hara in the '30s so he could make fun of the musicians who moved to Hollywood so they could make an actual living. I suppose if the 'school' ever actually existed, the music probably sported slightly fewer blues roots and more melodic as opposed to more experimental directions. Maybe. This rather breezy, often inspired recording of bassist Dean Taba's quintet (with two drummers; talk about propulsion) is a good place from which a critic with nothing better to do (a common accusation leveled at many of us) might reformulate a hypothesis stating that there really is a West coast school since both those attributes figure here. Of course, normal folks who just want to know if this CD is any good should be told that once the vocalist lays out there's no stopping these guys."

"Taba is a swinger of seeming ancient provenance updated, he knows all the methods and can 'swing' it even if you have no rope for him to tie it to... to upend the old caveat. "Two Views" is a strong hard-bop workout, opening with Taba trio-ing with drummers Kendall Kay and Tim McIntyre. As wild as can be, and I would gladly have let the horns keep off the stage for the whole nine minutes. But they're no pikers either: Steve Huffstetter's trumpet has some of Miles Davis' tartness and Clifford Brown's inventive sense, while Andrew Suzuki's tenor recalls Charlie Rouse in its humorous brinkmanship. "Think Of Juan" is partially 'dedicated' to trombonist Juan Tizol and remembers the infamous Duke Ellington Orchestra incident in the '50s in which Tizol and then-bassist Charles Mingus had a bit of a falling-out. For all the pertinent details, see the Mingus section of Nat Hentoff's book JAZZ IS. "Think of Juan," the cross-reference to Monk aside, bounces on the multi-leveled trampoline that Taba, McIntyre and Kay provide, a thick carpet of possibilities among which Suzuki and Huffstetter pick and choose with no small expertise. Dizzying! Drum solos burst up out of the ground, horns drop in and out supposedly on a whim, and Taba nods his head in approval. Sometimes audibly, sometimes otherwise."

"I'm not as big a fan of the vocal bits; guest reciter Dave Allen natters with some wit on the subject of his recently departed set of wheels in "Dave's Car (parts 1-3)": the accompaniment by the musicians is sharp and sometimes augments Allen's intellectual-sad-sack delivery but I really wish there weren't 16:54 of that to sit through. Amusing, but the instrumental bits are far more eloquent. "Yaichi" fares better because the taped call-and-response between the interviewer and Mr. Taba's maternal grandfather is more organically integrated into the music; one hears the musicians cushioning and wheeling around the spoken words in a solidly subtle performance. But it still doesn't beat the mellifluous bopping of "In the Outdoors" and "No More Net." Per that last and its accompanying liner note: yes, Mr. Taba, if Ornette Coleman were a trapeze artist he would not use a net. Hardly surprising that the Taba Quntet doesn't either, and for the most part we're all better off."

-Kenneth Egbert (Jazz Now)


"If you've ever been fascinated by insurance, you have my deepest sympathy. Dave (Gruber) Allen is just such a person. He provides More is More with a sizable dollop of commentary on the writing-off of his 1994 Chevrolet Cavalier '4-door wagon, sensible, simple'. Allen's dry drawl is heavy with the stench of Frank Zappa at his most aggravatingly inane and inexplicably amusing. For a couple of listens these bizarre musings provide enough silly giggles to distract from the fact that, with the notable exception of In the Out Doors, the album's melodies are all pretty inconsequential."

"The two drummers (another Zappa-esque feature) propel some seriously foot-tappimg - and occasionally head-nodding - grooves, and the pianoless quintet, grounded firmly in freebop territory, generate plenty of interesting textures and impressive solos. Much of the music is based around repetitive bass figures, but Dean Taba's dark solo introduction to Think of Juan reveals assured and imaginative playing, and the piece's wickedly funky groove drives some of the best playing on the album. Ultimately, More is More is and album full of character, but I'm not convinced it's musical character."

-Matthew Simpkins (Double Bassist)

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