Vince DiMartino, Bobby Shew & Allen Vizzutti: Trumpet Summit

The Songs:

  1. Bopzutti
  2. Laura Joy
  3. Dragonfly (Vizzutti Solo)
  4. Autumn Leaves (DiMartino solo)
  5. Daahoud (Shew Solo)
  6. It’s Only A Paper Moon
  7. Moonglow
  8. (It’s A) Heavy Town (Vizzutti solo)
  9. Bye Bye Blackbird (DiMartino solo)
  10. You Don’t Know What Love Is
  11. All The Things You Are
  • Vince DiMartino, Bobby Shew, Allen Vizzutti – trumpet, flügelhorn
  • Luke Gillespie – piano
  • Frank Vignola – guitar
  • Michael Valerio – bass
  • Jon Wacker – drums
  • Joey Sellers – conductor
  • Summit Brass: Allan Dean – flügelhorn; Thomas Bacon – horn; Joseph Alessi – trombone; Brian Bowman – euphonium; Daniel Perantoni & Sam Pilafian – tuba

Trumpet Summit revived an old jazz concept of gathering together top players of a particular instrument. Dizzy Gillespie had established earlier trumpet summits in the 1970’s with Roy Eldridge, Clark Terry, Harry “Sweets” Edison and Freddie Hubbard. Other “Summit” recordings have featured a Trombone Summit, (with Albert Mangelsdorf, Bill Watrous, Jiggs Whigham, and Kai Winding), a Jazz Violin Summit, (with Svend Asmussen, Stéphane Grapelli, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Stuff Smith), and the popular Saxophone Summit with Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, and Joe Lovano.

Trumpet Summit was recorded live at the International Brassfest at Indiana University in June 1995. It brought together the talents of veteran big band soloist Bobby Shew, trumpet professor and jazz clinician Vince DiMartino and the supreme trumpet technician (and fellow Montanan) Allen Vizzutti. (Vizzutti and DiMartino had been students together at the Eastman School of Music.)

The album opens strongly with three Vizzutti originals. The first, Bopzutti, is an uptempo bop trio that recalls Leroy Anderson’s Bugler’s Holiday. This is followed by Laura Joy, a Latin ballad named after Vizzutti’s wife. He is also featured on two solo numbers, his own technically demanding Dragonfly and Donald Byrd’s Heavy Town, a longtime ballad favorite in concert of Vizzutti. The other two soloists also get solo features, with Shew offering an inspired rendition of Clifford Brown’s Daahoud, while DiMartino shines on the standards Autumn Leaves and a stripped down version of Bye Bye Blackbird. The trio is featured on a number of standards, which were arranged either by conductor Joey Sellers or the jazz pianist John Harmon, (known for his compositions and keyboard playing with the jazz-rock band Matrix). Excellent playing and genuine camaraderie is featured throughout. The Summit Brass and rhythm section offer strong support without overshadowing the soloists, especially tuba player Sam Pilafian and guitarist Vignola on DiMartino’s two solo features. (Buy it here.)

Suggested Reading:

Scott Yanow. Trumpet Kings: The Players Who Shaped The Sound Of Jazz Trumpet.

Suggested Viewing:

Trumpet Kings. (A video that was produced in conjunction with the above book by Scott Yanow. The video is narrated by Wynton Marsalis.)