Tuba players have learned to value every jazz recording that features their instrument in a leading role – and one of the first was the 1959 collaboration between famed trumpeter Clark Terry and tuba player Don Butterfield, called Top and Bottom Brass.
Ottawa's jazz tuba player, Keith Hartshorn-Walton, teamed up with Montreal trumpeter Bill Mahar to recreate that album last Saturday at Record Runner Rehearsal Studios – and maybe increase the tuba a bit in the mix, too!
The show was warmly received by the near-capacity audience, with Hartshorn-Walton's rounded tuba lines nicely melding and contrasting with Mahar on trumpet and flugelhorn.
Besides Hartshorn-Walton's arrangements of all the pieces from Top and Bottom Brass, they performed two of Mahar's arrangements from the 1957 Miles Davis/Gil Evans Birth of the Cool album which also prominently feature tuba together with trumpet or flugelhorn. Also included were three modern numbers by Ottawa and Montreal jazz composers, where the tuba smoothly slid into the saxophone or trombone parts. Filling in the music were Peter Hum on piano, Dave Schroeder on double bass, and Michel Delage on drums.