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What’s On Your Playlist: Tony Glausi

New York- based trumpeter, keyboardist, vocalist, composer, producer, and educator Tony Glausi has made a name for himself collaborating with the likes of Randy Porter, Peter Cincotti, and Halie Loren, amongst others. Winning the 2017 Laurie Fink Career Grant afforded him the opportunity to be mentored by Wynton Marsalis, while other accolades include top honors in the ITG International Trumpet Competition, first-place at the 2017 Carmine Caruso Solo International Trumpet Competition, and a win at the 2014 National Trumpet Competition.

Glausi has produced six well-received albums of his own music and continues to foster ever-growing buzz amongst fans of all ages across social media platforms. He has toured globally, playing at renowned festivals and clubs including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Leopolis Jazz Festival in Ukraine, the New Morning in Paris, and the Blue Note in New York, while also having performed as a featured guest artist with ensembles such as the United States Marine Corps All Star Jazz Band, the Eugene Symphony, and many others.

Tony Glausi is on teaching staff at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York and has also held teaching positions at the University of Oregon (where he completed his degrees), and the John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts, where he founded the Shedd Youth Jazz Orchestras.

1. “Heaven is 10 Zillion Light Years Away”

Stevie Wonder – Fulfillingness’ First Finale

My dad got me into Stevie when I was super little. I used to bounce up and down in the living room, dancing to all his records from the early-mid ‘70s, and to this day he is still my favorite musical artist. I remember listening to this album, in particular, for hours on repeat while in the basement playing with Legos and what-not. Every tune on here is an absolute hit in my mind, but this song really gets me. Read the lyric by itself as a poem and you’ll see what I mean. A few other artists and bands I grew up listening to, from which I continue to draw inspiration, include Aretha Franklin, Tracy Chapman, Earth Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Queen, Paul Simon, and The Beatles.

2. “Moonlight Serenade” – Glenn Miller Orchestra

My mom always had Glenn Miller playing in the car. Her dad (also a trumpet player) had raised his family on big band music and, so the tradition was passed down. My siblings and I had all the solos memorized and would sing along in the back seat on long road trips and going to and from dance class or whatever. My parents were also deep into classical music, my favorites being Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and Chopin.

3. “Freddie Freeloader”

Miles Davis – Kind of Blue

When I was 10 years old, I started playing the trumpet – began early on the piano – and for Christmas that year my uncle gave me a copy of Kind of Blue. It was the first CD I’d ever been gifted and the first Miles [album] I’d ever paid attention to. I had heard my older sister practicing saxophone along with Bird and Dizzy albums, but it wasn’t until getting into Kind of Blue that improvisation really spoke to me. To this day I recommend all trumpet players learn Miles’ solo on this tune, and I frequently use this track when referring to favorite swing feels.

4. “I Think, I Love”

Jamie Cullum – The Pursuit

One day my aunt dropped off a copy of Jamie Cullum’s Catching Tales and I was immediately hooked. The songs were magical and his voice and piano playing were very inspiring to me as a young pianist and singer-songwriter. I was in high school when he came out with The Pursuit and this particular song from that album – another bright and colorful mixtape – remains my favorite. It’s an absolute gem.

5. “You and the Night and the Music”

Bill Evans – Interplay

This Freddie Hubbard solo was the first full trumpet solo I ever transcribed – I think I was 16 years old. I remember being particularly drawn to his time feel and big sweeping lines. And what a band! Bill Evans on piano with Jim Hall on guitar, Freddie on trumpet, Percy Heath on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums. These are some of my very favorite players on each instrument and the tune selection, mix, and overall production make the album a real treat all the way through.

6. “Potato Head Blues” – Louis Armstrong

It took me a while to get into early recordings, but when I finally heard this I was in – all the way in. In a way, I haven’t been able to get past Pops since falling in love with him… the king of swing! What a joyful soul. Masterful melodies and phrasing all the way through this song, and from here, of course, I found more and more to sift through and study. Some of my other favorites include Cornet Chop Suey, Hotter Than That, I Double Dare You, Basin Street Blues, and Struttin’ With Some Barbeque.

7. “Wesley’s Theory”

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

I heard the singles from this album, but didn’t think much of it until months later when enough people had asked me why I hadn’t listened through the whole record. Of course I finally did and I was struck right from the start of the first track. I’d always enjoyed the music of J Dilla, Jay Z, D’Angelo, and earlier hip hop artists, but TPAB covers different ground and the production is unparalleled. I listened to the whole album two or three times a day for months until it lifted me out of a deep emotional rut of my own. Powerful. Got me into producing for the first time, too.

8. “Dust it Off” – The Dø

I first heard this in the film “I Origins. This song helped me get back into singing and songwriting after years spent focusing more on the trumpet. Mesmerizing melody, unique production, and the movie itself very inspiring. I grew up in a film family, the kind that watched one almost every night together. Some of my favorite film wcomposers include Thomas Newman, John Williams, Alexandre Desplat, Ennio Morricone, and Michael Giacchino.

9. “What If I Go?”

Mura Masa – Mura Masa

I happened upon this track and subsequently got lost in a new world of modern music quite unlike the swing, symphonies, and R&B I had grown up with. This song (and Mura Masa’s whole debut album) lit my life up at a time when I desperately needed something new. It influenced my writing and took me into a phase of listening, including other contemporaries such as Louis Cole, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, and Terrace Martin.

10. “CAP.X CORDURA – Maldición”

Rosalía – El Mal Querer

Rosalía is my favorite new artist of the past several years. This album in particular synthesizes so many styles I love and her voice is angelic. The record takes you from the club through the streets of Spain to the cathedral and back. I often start here at chapters 10-11 before listening again from the top. I’ve spent a lot of time in Spain and this music (along with that of Alejandro Sanz) keeps me at bay while I’m home in New York.

Tony Glausi’s latest album, When it All Comes Crashing Down (Outside in Music), dropped on November 17, 2020.
www.tonyglausi.com

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