Neil Mueller, trumpet
Call and response is a fundamental form of human communication. Democratic, and often spontaneous, it's a place where the creative spark leaps from spoken language to musical expression. Music heard in settings as diverse as a church, nightclub, or concert hall often feature aspects of call and response. The duos on this recording for two trumpets or trumpet and piano all have a degree of this spirited dialogue and interplay. Seen from another angle, before the first note is sounded, the players respond to the composer's call, the score beckoning musicians to "come out and play!" Beyond my own excitement in presenting this music lies the hope that these works - heretofore unrecorded - would find both a wider audience and more performers interested in bringing them to life.
I am lucky to have a number of tremendous musicians to collaborate with on this project: White Pine's superb recording engineer, Scott Topazi, came onto this project the same year that he started a new job at Central Michigan University and I'm so thankful for his great ears and big heart and that he said 'yes' to this project; pianist Zhihua Tang is nothing short of remarkable in her attention to both the details and the spirit of the music; I'm thrilled to have Allan Dean-one of my mentors and heroes-joining me on this recording. Allan and I both studied with a great trumpeter and teacher, J. Robert Hanson, to whom this CD is dedicated.