Ben has found a way to embrace the music of Cedar Walton and transform it into stellar big band arrangements that express his voice, sound and musical genius.
Pianist Ben Markley, along with special guest trumpeter Terell Stafford, celebrates one of the more influential and beloved figures in jazz through this unique project, showcasing many of the late pianist and composer Cedar Walton's most revered tunes through new arrangements for big band. Performing iconic compositions such as "Hindsight," "Bolivia," and "Holy Land," Markley brings together fellow faculty members from the University of Wyoming and top-flight Denver-area musicians to produce an honest and swinging recording that honors Cedar Walton while presenting his music in a bright new light.
"...to hear a big band's interpretation of Cedar's music has to be the most beautiful thing I have ever heard in my life! ... I know Cedar is beaming at the results!!" - Martha Walton
1. Cedar's Blues 5:53
2. Clockwise 7:32
3. Fiesta Espanol 7:36
4. Hindsight 9:28
5. I'll Let You Know 6:41
6. I'm Not So Sure 7:31
7. Holy Land 10:03
8. Bolivia 6:07
9. Martha's Prize 5:55
10. Black 8:56
BEN MARKLEY BIG BAND
Wil Swindler - saxophones
Scott Turpen - saxophones
Peter Sommer - saxophones
Serafin Sanchez - saxophones
Sam Williams - saxophones
Scott Crump - trombone
Paul McKee - trombone
Adam Bartczak - trombone
Gary Mayne - trombone
Pete Olstad - trumpet
Greg Gisbert - trumpet
John Lake - trumpet
Terell Stafford - trumpet
Ben Markley - piano
Steve Kovalcheck - guitar (2,6)
Ken Walker - bass
Chris Smith - drums
Produced by Wil Swindler & Ben Markley
Recorded by Colin Bricker at Mighty Fine Productions, Denver, CO
August 1-2, 2016
Mastered by Phil Bulla at Platinum Productions, Monroe, N.Y.
Michael Peterson - group photo, photo of Cedar applauding is Carlo Pieroni
Cover design & layout by John Bishop
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
Walton is one of those key jazzbos that's coming closer and closer to being forgotten every day so it's extra props we toss to bandleader Markey for making this a big band date rather than a solo piano tribute. Putting back all the joyous swing that was in these tunes originally, this isn't so much a journey through the past as it is an exploration ...
Republic of Jazz (Domi)
Terell Stafford has been hailed as "one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player" by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford is recognized as an incredibly gifted and versatile player, he combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. Stafford's exceptionally expressive and well defined musical ...
DownBeat (Bobby Reed)
EDITOR'S PICK (March '17) Bandleader Ben Markley's latest project is a labor of love, shining a spotlight on the compositions of pianist Cedar Walton (1934–2013). Markley, an assistant professor of jazz piano at the University of Wyoming, recruited fellow UW faculty members as well as some excellent Denver-area musicians for this big band disc, ...
All About Jazz (Dan McClenaghan)
Pianist Cedar Walton (1934-2013) was one of the giants, as well known for his compositions and arranging as he is for his piano chair stints in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, his steering vocalist Etta James to an Emmy Award for Mystery Lady: The Songs Of Billie Holiday, (RCA, 1994), and his prolific recording career, beginning with Cedar! (Prestige ...
Cadence (Robert Rusch)
Although he solos little, Stafford is the ringer, but the real star here is Cedar Walton and his music. Walton was known for his compositions but as far as "songbooks" go he tends to be overlooked. This is possibly the first recording, Walton aside, to exclusively feature his music. The charts on the 10 compositions [75:47] strike me as pretty stra ...
Jazz Weekly (George W. Harris)
One of jazz's most steady hard boppers in both performance and composition, Cedar Walton, is given his big band due on this album lead by fellow pianist Ben Markely and his big band. The charts are clever without sounding sterile, and the sections bounce back and forth to drive the music like a pianists left had as on the graceful "Clockwise" (with ...
New York City Jazz Record (Ken Dryden)
Terell Stafford is a featured soloist on the Ben Markley Big Band's Clockwise: The Music of Cedar Walton. The leader's creative charts show how much Walton's music belongs in a big band's repertoire. In the swinging "Cedar's Blues", Stafford takes his time building momentum in his solo, giving a virtual master class, followed by Will Swindler's whi ...
Jazz History Online (Thomas Cunniffe)
Ben Markley - a former contributor to these pages - writes in the liner notes to his new album "Clockwise: the Music of Cedar Walton" (OA2 22139) that "starting a big band was something I never thought was in the cards for me". Still, as director of Jazz Studies at the University of Wyoming, he is doubtlessly aware that big bands need fresh reperto ...