Tim Price knows about Kurt McGettrick. Tim vividly remembers Kurt's playing from 30 years ago at the Berklee school. Tim told me today that Kurt struck him as being like an American John Surman. My former roommate on the Lyle Lovett Band, Bobby Eldridge (another monster Bari player), also clearly remembers how incredible Kurt was back when they were playing at Berklee so many years ago.
Kurt was perhaps most notorious for being a member of Frank Zappa's 1988 touring horn section, which spawned the albums "The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life", "Make A Jazz Noise Here", and "Broadway the Hard Way". During his career, Kurt toured and recorded with Graham Parker, and toured with the "Prez Conference" band. Kurt also recorded with B.B. King, Tom Petty, Patti LaBelle, The Meters, Phoebe Snow, and the Ladd McIntosh Big Band. He played on many movie soundtracks, including The Lion King, and Matchstick Men.
Good places to hear McGettrick's work are on Ladd McIntosh's CD's "Temptation", and "Ride the Night Beast". The is the way to play Bari Sax in a modern big band! Kurt's tremendous Bari Sax sound is heard and felt on every song throughout these discs. Kurt's presence in Ladd's band was much like the way in which Harry Carney was such an integral part of the Ellington band's sound. Kurt went to Berklee many years ago to study arranging and composition, but he said that the faculty kept pushing him to play Bari with all the big bands. Kurt generally didn't like to play Bari with big bands because he said so few big band writers wrote good parts for Bari Sax. He made an exception for Ladd McIntosh and he played in Ladd's band for 30 years. Ladd writes exeptional bari sax parts!
- THANK YOU. THis thread needs to stay flowing. Kurt, was more than just a Baritone player, he was a total musician. TODAY, as in any era in jazz etc etc there is just a void of acceptance for those really " steppin up
" to the plate of originality.
Over 30 plus years ago I heard Kurt, what kept his name in my mind?
I tell you what!!!! His playing. His approach to a NON-CLICHE based style.
I'm glad at this point in life ( for myself ) that I had _PLAYERS_who were teachers @Berklee ; guys like Charlie Mariano, John LaPorta, Andy McGhee and Joe Viola that were more than just teachers. Guys that would stop you in a solo if you were playing LICKS and bring you to the mat. Stop you and ask you if you intended to " play any more Sears and Roebucks licks? ". lol.
Right now Kurts style, his essence ring true of the era in which he appeared. Guys that were at Berklee with us, like Justo Almario, Victor Brazil, Ero Krovistonian etc were already dealing in the sign posts of getting the music together NOT just regurgiating someones style in a cheesy manner or a popular sound. RIGHT NOW, jazz is loaded with repeater pencils
as Prez said. More so a bunch of guys who never had an original thought in their life. Kurt passed any of those issues and stood tall as a VOICE on his horn.
There was a really cool radio show my buddy Kim Richmond gave me that he did on Kurt. ( as well as Bill Perkins) Kurt talked heavily about the influence of Mariano.
At the time I heard Kurt, I had been aware of John Surman. Heard him with
" The Trio" and John McLaughlin. Kurt had the same tools as John.
He was an amazing player, but what about the guys who played with Zappa aside of him?
- ALBERT WING- A killin tenor player who just smokes
- Paul Carman- the inventor of CD metronome.
Guys who should be as popular as Shamus Blake/ Cris Potter etc etc or anyone doing world class stuff.
There are aspects of this BIZ that turn my stomach, the dead ears and frozen minds that only back things that are so trendy that its silly. Yea lets all rally to " BAD PLUS" when they really copped two songs from Rachel Z's live Minneapolis concerts before she recorded them- and so it goes. That ivey divey jivey BIZ that holds nothing but $$$, and then some. That same BIZ that Zappa, or Miles and others resented. Kurt was heard by the " powers that be" when he was with Zappa. He shoulda got air time.
- In a way- I'm glad I am aware of him. Glad he gave me vision on the baritone sax cuz' it helped me. Just like other peers like Ion Muniz, Ray Pizzi, Watts and others did. Bobby Eldridge played with George Russell, also Benson. He should be better known as well, and a sweet cat who knws his horn big time. Always dug him too.
When I think of what Kurt could of recorded, it affects me like this because he should of.
Think about it.......:line6: