The Seattle composer, arranger and trumpet extraordinaire Jim Knapp knew his way around a diverse jazz tune you won't soon forget, and here along with a large handful of esteemed musicians he brings a big band effort that's quite distinct and exciting.
"Miami Vince" starts the listen with no lack of energy, as Jon Hamar's frisky brass welcomes the lively brass and airy flute from Paul Taub that swirls with a timeless jazz energy, and "Afterthought" follows with a calmer approach that benefits from John Hansen's warm piano and soulful horns that emit a reflective tone.
Moving forward, "The Presence Of Absence" occupies the middle spot and showcases much beauty as the gentle brass gets a bit hazy alongside the dreamy flute and soft drums from Matt Jorgensen, while "Gray Skies" offers a lush and very melodic display of elegant and very dynamic instrumentation.
Elsewhere, "Forward Motion" bops and swings with an infectious spirit that will get your body moving to the upbeat demeanor of the album highlight, and "Nerds Of Steel" exits the listen with the meticulous sax flowing amid the punchy drumming and frisky bass lines.
It's Not Business, It's Personal was actually recorded in 2009, but only released in late 2021, right after Knapp passed away at 82 years old. An accomplished musician, composer and educator, all 8 tracks here are Knapp originals, and illustrate his fluent brand of rhythm, melody and swingin' fun that no one will replicate quite like this.