The Bone Supremacy

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Track List

  1. King Porter Stomp
  2. Roy's Blues
  3. The End Of A Love Affair
  4. That's How I Feel
  5. The Theme From The Pink Panther
  6. Walkin'
  7. No More
  8. Delta City Blues
  9. Stardust
  10. Cute
  11. Ladyless & Lachrymose
  12. Whistle While You Work
  13. Maxine
  14. Not Like This
  15. Drop Me Off In Harlem
  16. Home

Our new CD 'Introducing The Bone Supremacy' is is now available, featuring Mark Nightingale, Roy Williams and Alistair White. The price is £12 + £1.50 postage UK/Europe. Please e-mail us for other destinations. You can order now and pay via PayPal. Alternatively, you can pay by cheque by making your cheque payable to Mr I. Bateman and sending it with your order to the address on the contact page.

The trombone has become something of a rarity in jazz today, but this band could well revive its fortunes. Seven trombonists all told - four in the band, plus three guests - demonstrate how marvellous the instrument can sound in talented hands. You'd scarcely believe the variety of style, sound and texture revealed here. The material ranges from Michael Brecker's "Delta City Blues", featuring some impossibly agile playing, to the Pink Panther theme, ending in a concerted downhill slide. No room to list all the names - but they're the cream, from several generations.

Dave Gelly - The Observer (April 2010)

In some ways, the trombone may seem a rather unforgiving instrument, but this CD shows what it can do in the hands of versatile players. They make their instruments scream, shout, growl, snarl and even burp. Mutes can be added to create all kinds of special effects. But trombones can also sound smooth and sweet, as in several examples where the "trombone choir" is used to good effect. There are also delicate solos on some of the ballads. And, of course, the trombone is ideal for glissandi, which the instrument's slide facilitates like few other devices.

This is the debut album of The Bone Supremacy - a trombone quartet whose members are all part of the Back to Basie big band. Ian Bateman suggested to his colleagues that they might emulate the British trombone band called Five-a-Slide, which was popular in the 1970s and 1980s. The Bone Supremacy was lucky enough to be given the arrangements which were used by Five-a-Slide, and these have been augmented with new charts by Adrian Fry. The four usually add a fifth trombonist and this album features three such guests: Mark Nightingale, Alistair Fry, and Roy Williams (who was an original member of Five-a-Slide).

I was afraid that an ensemble consisting of trombones would sound cumbersome but - unlike such a group as Brass Jaw, composed entirely of front-line instruments, The Bone Supremacy wisely uses a rhythm section of piano, bass and drums to supply the beat. This leaves the trombonists free to play as they will. And excellently they play! There isn't a dud track on the album, and the band deliberately tackles a diverse repertoire to vary the moods and styles.

For example, the CD opens with Jelly Roll Morton's King Porter Stomp, which is in no way stodgy, thanks to some well-arranged choruses from trombones and piano, followed by a high-flying solo from Mark Nightingale. Roy's Blues was written by Roy Williams and features his educated playing, as well as a clear solo from pianist John Pearce, whose tempered solos throughout the CD make a nice contrast with the trombones.

Ian Bateman is best known in the world of traditional jazz but he handles The End of a Love Affair with beautiful restraint. Other slightly unexpected items are the theme from The Pink Panther (which captures the slinky mood of the original); Michael Brecker's Delta City Blues, which opens with a glorious cadenza from Mark Nightingale and suitably slides into a New Orleans feel; Stardust, which makes the most of the trombone harmonies; and Whistle While You Work, which threatens to lumber along but lightens up nicely when it enters swing tempo.

Stardust makes the most of the trombone harmonies; Cute spotlights drummer Pete Cater; and Donald Fagen's Maxine contains some rich harmonising. Not Like This makes even more of the harmonic possibilities by showcasing all seven trombonists without the rhythm section. The album ends with Home, a lovely tune which merits wider exposure.

On the evidence of this debut disc, The Bone Supremacy is supreme.

Tony Augarde - Music Web International