Order CD


Click on highlighted passages to hear sound samples...
  Lead trumpeter Rob Henke utilized a Bach Stradivarius XL trumpet with a Warburton A Mouthpiece for the session. It gave him the flexibility to go from "shouting" passages leading the ensemble of 6 horns to an  intimate whisper.  Rob also played a Cuesnon Flugelhorn at the recording.
Bill Mobley’s Schilke B1 Trumpet/Bach 3C mouthpiece combination helped him execute his very personal and idiosyncratic solo conception. Bill’s style incorporates wide intervallic jumps and slippery phrasing that most other trumpeters do not utilize on a regular basis . Bill's flugelhorn work with a Yamaha horn and Bach 3C mouthpiece setup also added a nice delicacy to some of the recording's more relaxed moments.
  Pete McGuinness played a King 3B tenor trombone utilizing a Bach 6 and a half A mouthpiece, which gave him great flexibility. Please note the  “singing” quality in Pete’s smooth and seemingly effortless negotiation of a demanding melody in the trombone’s upper register in duet with clarinet. Contrast that with his “in your face” largely lower and middle register passages on Thelonious Monk's “Bye-Ya”, duetting with drummer Pete MacDonald.  
Ben Williams’ Bach 36 tenor trombone coupled with a Bach 7C mouthpiece helped him achieve his ebullient, full-throttle, no-holds barred sound on his feature passages and solos on the CD. Conversely, Ben also blended beautifully in the full band ensemble sections. Check out Ben’s deft use of a top-of-the-line Drug Fair plunger to give his feature spot on “Orange Circle Funk” the unhealthily high grease content that the tune’s composer (Mike) required.
  Bob Hanlon’s Conn Transitional pre-6M alto sax (serial# 249, 000 series, circa 1932)/Meyer 5 mouthpiece combo was a contributing part of his expressive, alternately creamy and tart sound. Bob’s clarinet work (on a Selmer France Depose model with a Selmer mouthpiece) also gets a chance to shine on the cd. “Melody For My Mom” showcases the full range of Bob’s work on the licorice stick. His warm lower register work is featured early in the track and later on Bob leads the full 6 horn ensemble with lines in the clarinet’s upper register.  

Mike Kaplan played a Conn 10M tenor saxophone (serial # 295, 000 series, circa 1941) with a Berg Larsen hard rubber 120/0 mouthpiece on the recording. The metal and bore of the horn yielded the round sound that Mike prefers. It also helped to facilitate the smoky, 3 a.m. in the morning quality in Mike’s tone and a rich subtone range. Mike also plays a Selmer Mark VI tenor sax (serial# 133,000 circa ’65) with an Otto Link Millenium (7*) mouthpiece when the mood strikes him.

  Ed Xiques used a Selmer Mark VI baritone saxophone (serial # 92, 000 series, circa 1960) and an open-faced Berg Larsen hard rubber mouthpiece (with custom work done by Frank Wells) on the “How’s That?” sessions. This setup enabled his big, blustery sound to clearly shine through in the band’s ensemble sections and also helped Ed to clearly articulate long, fluid melodic lines in his solos. Ed’s  distinctive soprano sax sound (Selmer Mark VI serial # 186,000 series circa ‘71 with a Selmer Soloist Model G hard rubber mouthpiece) was also featured to telling effect on the recording.  
Rick Langmaack utilized a Heritage Academy Custom guitar played through a Music Man 210 HD amplifier (mic’d in an isolation booth) on the recording session. This basic, no-frills setup contributed to the beautiful clarity of sound and line in Rick’s feature spots on the CD.
  Matt King played an older Steinway B grand piano at Sound On Sound studio. It had a nicely regulated action and a pleasing variety of timbres that stimulated Matt’s creativity. He made the most of his solos in a variety of different moods and tempos from steaming to relaxed.  
Doug Weiss’ German-made Morelli bass(circa 1905) with Thomastik strings was captured very realistically through close mic’ing by engineer Tom Lazarus. A good example of Doug’s deep, resonant sound and the telepathic interplay of the rhythm section can be heard on “Sudden Stranger”. At the other end of the spectrum, notice how Doug’s bass also helped to power the full 9-man ensemble from underneath.
  On the recording, drummer Pete MacDonald utilized Camco (circa ’65) toms, a 1938 Gene Krupa Radio King Slingerland snare drum and a mix of ‘50s and ‘60s Zildjian K & A Cymbals. This setup provided Pete with the proper sound for a classic acoustic jazz context and also the flexibility to cover the wide range of material, grooves and textures (from duo to full ensemble) the Nonet performed on “How’s That?”.  
“How’s That?” was recorded in 2 sessions (August 11 and 12, 1999) at Sound On Sound Studio, NYC. Tom Lazurus engineered.
The 6 horns were in the main room along with the piano. The horns were set up in 2 rows facing each other. The Steinway piano was positioned in the room behind the row of brass (Trombone, Lead Trumpet, 2nd Trumpet). The reeds (Tenor Sax, Alto Sax/Clarinet, Baritone/Soprano Sax) faced the brass row approximately 15 feet across from it. Each horn had one mic and there were also 2 separate mics set up in the main room specifically to pick up room ambience.
Both drums and acoustic bass had separate isolation booths on opposite sides of the room. The guitar amp was also mic’d in an isolation booth, although Rick was situated in the main room.


The session was recorded on 24 track DA-88 tape.
Ben Williams and Bob Hanlon photos ©Dennis Connors
Contact Mike Kaplan

Please visit the Smokin' Section website
Site: 2050group