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Meltdown - Sam Pilafian, Summit Records


Item Details

Sam Pilafian - tuba, Scott Zimmer - saxophones, John O'Reilly, Jr. - drums

Includes works by Zimmer, Bartok, Ravel, Monk, Captain Beefheart, Bechet, Pilafian, Coleman

"The clever arrangements and the band’s enthusiasm make this eccentric effort…a success."
     — Scott Yanow, Cadence

"Sam Pilafian grew up in Miami in an atmosphere alive with jazz music. A devoted student of the tuba, in 1967 he became the second tuba soloist in 50 years to win the Concerto Competition at Interlochen. Fellowship studies at New Hampshire's Dartmouth College and at Tanglewood followed, until 1971 when Leonard Bernstein invited him to play in the first production of Bernstein's Mass which opened the Kennedy Center in Washington.
Sam's recording and performing experience has run the gamut, including the Boston Symphony, Pink Floyd, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke, and actress/singer Bernadette Peters. Recently, he became a member of the large brass ensemble-Summit Brass. Sam Pilafian is perhaps known best today as a founding member of the internationally renowned Empire Brass Quintet.
Sam currently serves as Professor of Music at Arizona State University. For 20 years, he taught at Boston University and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.
Currently Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Flute at ENMU, Scott Zimmer is completing a Doctorate in Saxophone Solo Performance at Arizona State University. He holds the Master of Music degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Oregon and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the University of Northern Iowa.
As a saxophonist, Mr. Zimmer performs with the eclectic trio The Pilafian Project, and has performed and recorded musical styles ranging from jazz to classical to punk/funk. He has performed with the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona State University Faculty Jazz Nonet, Oregon Festival of American Music, and the Britt Festival Orchestra. In addition, he has participated in numerous jazz and commercial musical projects as a free-lance saxophonist in the Phoenix metropolitan area."
     -- from the website of the Pilafian Project

"One thing you can say for sure about tuba player Sam Pilafian: Besides being a perfectionist on his instrument, he's got a wicked sense of humor. For this recording, he invited saxophonist Scott Zimmer and drummer John O'Reilly, Jr. to join him for a romp through an eclectic collection of jazz, classical, and a touch of funk/pop, all filtered through Pilafian's swinging style. There is a wonderful version of Ornette's "Blues Connotation" coupled with two takes of Bartok's "Ruthenian Dance," and double versions of Captain Beefheart's "Dali's Car." While the harmonies are earthy and the trio never lets the music get too abstract, there is some fine soloing, especially from Pilafian and Zimmer, who toots both soprano and alto. A well-rehearsed, thoughtful and fascinating recording, to be sure."
     --  Steve Loewy (AllMusic)

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