Don Menza Quartet

The Rose

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Records
UPC: 0608917349221
Catnr: CR 73492
Release date: 10 January 2020
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 19.95
Challenge Records
Catalogue number
CR 73492
Release date
10 January 2020

"It's already clear that "The Rose" is one of the most beautiful productions on the richly filled catalog of Challenge Records!"

Jazzenzo, 05-3-2020

About the album

Dr. Kristina Nikolic:
"Even though I follow Don Menza whenever he is on tour in Europe and have witnessed the magic of his concerts countless times, never have I believed that recording an album could be such a relaxing, loving and seemingly effortless occasion. After a couple of weeks on the road, this quartet managed once again (in less than four hours) to preserve on tape what they had been doing together on the bandstand for many years: playing jazz that will touch any soul that is willing to listen. Together with Oliver Kent, Johannes Strasser and Bernd Reiter, all amazing musicians themselves, a self-confessed hopeless romantic Don Menza succeeded, with exceptional honesty, to record eight songs which reflect his beliefs. In this age of Jazz where the brain is often more important than the heart, this album stands out for its ability to break your heart, make you laugh, make you feel cool, brave, to energize and inspire you."
(from: liner notes The Rose)
Dr. Kristina Nikolic:
„Obwohl ich Don Menza immer folge, wenn er auf Europatournee ist, und ich den Zauber seiner Konzerte unzählige Male selbst erlebt habe, glaubte ich nie, dass es eine solch entspannte, liebevolle und scheinbar mühelose Angelegenheit sein könnte, ein Album aufzunehmen. Nach einigen Wochen auf Tour hat es dieses Quartett wieder einmal (in weniger als vier Stunden) geschafft, auf Band festzuhalten, was die Musiker zusammen auf der Bühne seit Jahren tun: Jazz zu spielen, der jede Seele berührt, die zuhören will. Zusammen mit Oliver Kent, Johannes Strasser und Bernd Reiter, alle selbst grandiose Musiker, gelang es dem bekennenden Romantiker Don Menza, mit außergewöhnlicher Ehrlichkeit, acht Songs aufzunehmen, die seine Ansichten spiegeln. In einem Zeitalter des Jazz, in dem der Kopf oft wichtiger ist als das Herz, sticht dieses Album heraus mit seiner Fähigkeit, dein Herz zu brechen, dich zum Lachen zu bringen, dich ruhig, mutig fühlen zu lassen, dir Energie zu geben und dich zu inspirieren.“
(aus: Booklet The Rose)


Don Menza is a powerful tenor saxophonist, with an dynamic and distinctive sound and soloing style. Born in Buffalo, New York in 1936, Menza started playing tenor saxophone when he was 13. After getting out of the Army, he was with Maynard Ferguson’s Orchestra (1960-1962) as both a soloist and an arranger.

A short tenure with Stan Kenton and a year leading a quintet in Buffalo preceded a period living in Germany (1964-1968). After returning to the U.S., he joined Buddy Rich’s 1968 big band in the “jazz tenor” chair, recording the famous solo cadenza on “Channel 1 Suite” (Recorded “live” at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas) that utilized circular breathing and has become known as a classic among music educators and musicians alike.

He settled in California and has worked with Elvin Jones (1969), Louie Bellson, as an educator, and in the studios. Don Menza, who has made far too few records, recorded as a leader for Saba (1965) in Germany, Discwasher (1979), Realtime, and Palo Alto (the latter two in 1981). Don was a long time member of The Tonight Show Band, with Johnny Carson.

His compositions, such as “Groovin’ Hard” and “Time Check” (both favorites of Doc Severinsen’s NBC Orchestra and Buddy Rich’s Big Band) have become standard repertoire in jazz studies programs at colleges and universities worldwide.

In 2005 Don Menza was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.


It's already clear that "The Rose" is one of the most beautiful productions on the richly filled catalog of Challenge Records!
Jazzenzo, 05-3-2020

Hopelessly romantic.
Jazzthing, 01-2-2020

Play album

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