“If you, like me, love great trumpet playing, Collaboration (Summit – 713) by MIKE VAX & RON ROMM is a must have album. Vax is best known for his time spent as the lead trumpet on Stan Kenton’s Orchestra, and his subsequent efforts to keep the Kenton legacy alive through many educational projects and leadership of the Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra. Romm was a founder and long time member of the Canadian Brass and currently serves as Professor of Trumpet at the University of Illinois. These two gentlemen have been friends for decades, and have talked about recording together for much of that time, but until recently circumstances stood in the way of that happening. Now that it has occurred, the world is a better place. They laid down twelve tracks, most of them with Jack Peterson on guitar, Ioannis Goudelis on piano, Selwyn Reams on bass and Clive Huff on drums. There are guest appearances by Dr. David Hickman on trumpet, Tony Vacca on reeds, Scott Whitfield on trombone, Joel Robin on piano, and Avis Romm on piano. Trying to single out any of the tracks for special mention is unfair to those not so recognized, so just suffice to say that no matter which track you hear, “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “Cornet Chop Suey,” “My Pal Vachee,” “I Remember Clifford,” “Up Jumped Spring,” “Hayden Trumpet Concerto, Movement Two – Andante,” “Collaboration,” “Lenny Leaps Out,” “The Brave Matador,” “just a Closer Walk with Thee,” “The Summer Knows” or “Sweet Emma,” you will be transported to a magic place where trumpets rule the day. As the titles indicate, a lot of musical ground is covered, all of it as tastefully and musically adept as possible. This is a Collaboration in the best sense of the word.”
-Joseph Lang for Jersey Jazz
A collaboration in the making for over 45 years!..Two incredibly gifted and acclaimed trumpet veterans finally together! Mike, a Stan Kenton Orchestra alum, and Ron, a Canadian Brass alum finally have gotten together to do this project after 45 years of friendship and talk! The talk is over-The project incredible! Joined by a first-class rhythm section and special guests, an impressive outing!
Mike has also performed and/or recorded with a ‘laundry list’ of jazz greats. He has appeared as guest lead trumpet and soloist with symphony pops orchestras around the world. As a recording musician, he has performed on more than 75 albums, including 20 under his own name.
Romm, a performer who has appeared worldwide on the stages of most major concert venues, music festivals, and international music conferences, is widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent trumpeters and clinicians of today. At eighteen he was already a veteran freelance trumpeter in Los Angeles, performing regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Brass Quintet.
In New York City, Mr. Romm established himself as a top freelance musician performing with every type and style of musical organization from the New York Brass Society to the New York Philharmonic to the Radio City Music Hall Symphony Orchestra to Broadway shows.
In 1971, Ronald Romm joined the newly formed Canadian Brass, which later established itself as the premiere brass ensemble in the world. In June of 2000, he retired from the group after participating in over 4,500 concerts
Mike Vax – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Ron Romm – Trumpet Flugelhorn
David Hickman Trumpet (The Brave Matador)
Tony Vacca – Flute, Tenor Saxophone – (Shadow of Your Smile, Sweet Emma)
Scott Petersen – Trombone (Collaboration, Sweet Emma)
Jack Petersen – Guitar
Ioannis Goudelis – Piano, Keyboard
Selwyn Reams – Bass
Cleve Huff – Drums
Avis Romm – Piano (Haydn Concerto, The Brave Matador, Summer of ’42)
Joel Robin – Piano (Sweet Emma)
The two trumpet team of Mike Vax and Ron Romm get down to brass tax with Dr. David Hickman/tp, Scott Whitfield/tb, Tony Vacca/ts-fl, Jack Petersoen/g, Ioannis Goudelis/ke-p, Selwyn Reams/b, Cleve Huff Huff/dr and Joel Robin-Axis Romm/p for this bright and bold collection of ideas.
The horns are sweet on the soft “The Shadow of Your Smile” and bright with macho bel canto during a remake of Leoncavallo’s opera piece for “My Pal Yachee.” Lovely muted elegance is dreamy for an interpretation of “Haydn Trumpet Concerto Movement Two” and the team bops like a hip B movie on a take of Freddie Hubbard’s “Up Jumped Spring.” Andalucian drama gets bold with the addition of Hickman on “The Brave Matador” with the rhythm team getting snappy and crisp on “Lenny Leaps Out.” Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy.