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Michael Treni Big Band You Better Watch Out


You Better Watch Out
Michael Treni Big Band
Bell Production Company

Artist Website

Michael Treni Big Band Facebook Page


To some, covers of traditional tunes may not strike an avant-garde note—but put down the figgy pudding—this is not your grandma's Christmas album! Mike Treni's familiar gems are serious music, serious fun, and sparkle with the pure joyous invention of rhythmic complexity, audacious instrumentation and daring modern harmonies.

Sadly, progressive big band music is often far from the public eye and history frequently overlooks the large ensembles of artists like Charles Mingus, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Clarke/Boland, Don Ellis, or Toshiko Akiyoshi. Treni's compositions and arrangements have bravely flown the flag of large-ensemble jazz for more than 20 years. With his reverence for the Great American Songbook, liturgical music, and the gods of large and small ensemble jazz, Treni marries the progressive and the familiar. Certain to be admired by jazz aficionados, this collection deserves an audience among the general public as well.
Each tune is a mash-up of well-loved melodic hooks, indelible harmonic motifs, and evocative tonalities—Treni even makes literary associations from the unsung lyrics of his instrumental renditions. His multilayered creations cascade over the listener darting playfully around the edges of our collective memory. There is a dizzying quantum mechanics to Treni's work: just as we begin to perceive it clearly, another innovation enters and demands attention. Unable to catch our breath or hold our footing we are compelled to listen again and again, each time with an ear for something new.

At the heart of Treni's band-within-a-band style are pulsing trios and quartets that swell to full big band size and back. By doubling his sax men on soprano, flute, bass clarinet, clarinet, and even recorder, Treni extends the traditional big band palette. Pairings with muted and full-voice trumpets, flugelhorn, alto flugelhorn, trombones, bass trombone and even overdrive guitar afford an infinite range of tonal colors. Each augmentation of the rhythm section premiers new solo or ensemble voices that glide in and out of, or rhythmically punctuate the melodic line. Even in down-tempo tunes, melody, sectional harmonies and counterpoint veer from section to section so quickly that it can be hard to pinpoint who is playing what. Perhaps this record should be called You Better Listen Up!

Use it as background to your holiday party if you must, but don't be surprised if toes start tapping and the occasional guest grows quiet and stares off in a music-induced trance.
- Wayne Nicolosi

The Tracks


You Better Watch Out! (4:13)
Solos: Rob Middleton, Frank Elmo - tenor saxophone; Craig Yaremko,
Anton Denner - alto saxophone; Chris Persad, Ben Hankle, Vinne
Cutro, Kevin Bryan - trumpet; Jim Ridl - piano

Let it Snow/Love to Keep Me Warm Medley (4:14)
Solo: Scott Reeves- trombone

Carol of the Bells (7:11)
Solos: Anton Denner - soprano saxophone; Jim Ridl - piano;
Vinnie Cutro - trumpet; Bryan Smith - guitar

Loco Latin Top (The Dreydl Song) (4:33)
Solos: Jim Ridl - piano; Craig Yaremko - flute; Kevin Bryan - trumpet;
Wayne Dunton - drums

I Wonder as I Wander (5:02)
Solo: Frank Elmo - soprano saxophone

Jingle Bells (3:21)
Solo: Jim Ridl - piano

Winter Wonderland (4:07)
Solos: Jim Fryer - trombone; Jim Ridl - piano

The Christmas Song (4:35)
Solo: Michael Treni - trombone

Hark the Herald Angels Swing (5:13)
Solos: Frank Elmo, Rob Middleton - tenor saxophone; Jim Fryer - trombone; Scott Reeves - alto flugelhorn; Wayne Dunton – drums



Produced by Michael Treni and Roy S. Nicolosi
Arrangements by Michael Treni
© 2017 by Michael Treni
Recorded April 29 & 30, 2017
Nicolosi Studios, Montvale, NJ
Recording and mixing engineer: Bryan Smith
Mastered by: Nathan James, The Vault Studios
Photos by Chris Drukker
CD Design by Ashley Treni
Label: The Bell Production Company






The Band

Craig Yaremko - alto saxophone (lead), flute

Anton Denner - alto, soprano saxophones

Frank Elmo - tenor, soprano saxophones, clarinet

Rob Middleton - tenor saxophone, clarinet, recorder

Roy Nicolosi - alto, soprano, tenor, baritone saxophones,
clarinet, bass clarinet, flute

Michael Treni - trombone (lead)

Scott Reeves - trombone, alto flugelhorn

Jim Frye - trombone

Keith Marson - bass trombone

Kevin Bryan - trumpet (lead)

Chris Persad - trumpet

Vinne Cutro - trumpet

Ben Hankle - trumpet

Pete Hyde - trumpet

Bryan Smith - guitar

Jim Ridl - piano

Chris Berger - bass

Wayne Dunton - drums

Frank Valdés - percussion

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