Review | Jazz Weekly

Doc Stewart

George W. Harris for Jazz Weekly As a doctor who practices between patients myself, I’ve got to admit I’m quite impressed by the alto sax work of Doc Stewart, who practices up in Minnesota, and must’ve come out to LA for some sunshine awhile back, as the best Angelenos are on this hot little session.

Stewart’s got a warm and clean tone, and he’s got some chops! He shows no sense of intimidation on the lightning fast take of “Bohemia After Dark,” and shows he’s got the funk factor on the four part “Code Blue Suite.” His tone glistens on the ballad “Homage to Bud Shank” and can boogie with the best on Bobby Timmons’ soulful “Dis Here.” Trumpeter Ron Stout sizzles on “Introduction to a Samba” and “Snakin’ the Grass’ while the flutes frame Stewart on Charles Lloyd’s “son My Lady Sings” to perfection. With the way health insurance is going these days, this guy’s got a great way to supplement his income! Gotta see this guy in concert-it’s definitely be cheaper than an office visit!

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Mayo Clinic | Doc Stewart & Dan Delaney

Doc Stewart

Some snapshots from my recent concerts at the Mayo Clinic with Dan Delaney._MG_9306_MG_9287

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Review | Joe Lang

Doc Stewart

Joel_LangSeptember issue of Jersey Jazz by Joe Lang The DOC STEWART BIG BAND RESUSCITATION has an interesting leader.  Stewart is a doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, but performed as a professional musician prior to his current profession.  He has continued to play jazz all through his life, and for Code Blue (Cannonball Jazz–2014) he has recruited a first call crew of players from the Los Angeles area to play a program of terrific arrangements by Tom Kubis and Matt Catingub.  The centerpiece of the album is the four-part “Code Blue Suite,” composed by Stewart and Kubis.  It is based on Stewart’s experiences as a doctor in the ER.  This is a program that demonstrates the best of modern big band writing and playing, creative and satisfying.

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Review | Vic Arnold

Doc Stewart

Chris ” Doc ” Stewart is a prominent emergency room doctor with the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. He plays alto saxophone and he is a dedicated follower of Julian ” Cannonball ” Adderley.    Code Blue !, is what is called out in the emergency room when a patient has a cardiac or respiratory arrest, so its a fitting title for a recording made by a doctor who spends his working life saving lives.

This recording commences with a four part composition by Tom Kubis and Doc Stewart entitled The Code Blue Suite and covers birth to death and then on to rebirth.  

The Code Blue Suite was written by Doc Stewart with Tom Kubis. Click here for a video of a live performance of Code Pink – Born To See Blues by the Tom Kubis Big Band. Doc Stewart is on alto.

The remaining 10 tracks are a mixture of old and new compositions, two by ‘Cannonball’ Adderley, some by Tom Kubis and Doc Stewart, and the remainder are standards.

Click here to listen to Hal Galper’s Snakin’ The Grass from the album. The arrangement is by Tom Kubis and Ron Stout is on trumpet, Kevin Axt, bass.

There are 19 musicians on this recording, 6 reeds, 10 brass, and piano, bass and drums, all from the Los Angeles area. They all play well, but, to my mind, the arrangements could have had more ” bounce “. If you enjoy big band music this recording may very well be for you. I particularly liked their version of Bobby Timmons’s Dis Here and Oscar Pettiford’s Bohemia After Dark, and the Code Blue Suite certainly has its moments. Vic Arnold for Sandy Brown Jazz

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Review | Jazzaholic Don Albert

Doc Stewart

Doc Stewart: Code Blue! Chris “Doc” Stewart is an ER Doctor for the Mayo Clinic Hospital besides being a superlative alto saxman, as you’ll hear throughout, and he’s a Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley historian. The arrangements are by Tom Kubis or Matt Catingub and mention must be made about the incredible lead trumpet playing of Wayne Bergeron. “Homage To Bud Shank” has the sax section sounding like Supersax on what might be a Shank solo, written out and harmonised. The amazing sax section is also featured on “Poor Butterfly” and “The Way You Look Tonight”. Lots of soloists over the 14 tracks of good music.  The Jazzaholic – Don AlbertDon_Albert

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Review | Rotcod Zzaj

Doc Stewart

Rotcod Zzaj - Improvijazzation NationIf ever you need a total “jazz fix”, Doc & his crew are the right place to get it, I’ll tell you!  It’s a followup to his 2005 CD that paid tribute to Cannonball Adderley – & this outing ROCKS, folks!  Pieces like “Ironman Blues” will surely set your socks afire & require a visit to get you back in order again!  I truly loved the funky environment of “Snakin’ The Grass” – but not to worry, Doc’s got the cure, so wander right along with the slithery beats (some GREAT keyboards on this tune!!!).  Of the 11 tunes offered up, my personal favorite was the back-alley flavor on “Bohemia After Dark“… Doc’s woodwinds administer just the right amount of musical meds to make this one of your favorite CD’s of 2014 (& for a long time to come).  I give Doc & crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as well as a perfect 5.00 for “EQ” (energy quotient).  That means it gets the “PICK” of this issue for “best high-energy jazz band).  Rotcod Zzaj

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Review | George Fendel

Doc Stewart
George Fendel

George Fendel

Chris “Doc” Stewart’s “other job” finds him in the Mayo Clinic as an ER physician. But don’t worry. This is distinctly not one of those, “I think I’ll make a record” vanity things. Instead, Stewart is an accomplished alto player in the lineage of Cannonball Adderley and other soulful cats such as Sonny Criss or Ike Quebec. For this impressive session, he got some respected Los Angeles players into the studio for a stirring big band session with a soulful emphasis. Stewart’s “Code Blue Suite,” a four-part endeavor, gets things started. It is followed by additional works by the likes of Bobby Timmons, Charles Lloyd, Hal Galper and Cannonball himself, among others. A couple of standards, ”Poor Butterfly” and “The Way You Look Tonight,” also work very well. Finally, there’s an album highlight in Oscar Pettiford’s “Bohemia After Dark.” Arrangements are from another big band dude, Tom Kubis, and from the pianist on the date, Matt Catingub. Try your best to avoid Stewart’s ER services. His alto saxophone is where you want to be.

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Grammy’s

Doc Stewart

Code Blue! was submitted for Grammy consideration in the following categories:

Artist: Doc Stewart Big Band Resuscitation

#31. Best Improvised Solo Patty’s Bossa
#31. Best Improvised Solo The Last Breath Blues – All Alone Now
#33. Best Jazz Instrument Album Code Blue!
#34. Best Large Jazz Ensemble Code Blue!
#40. Best Roots Gospel Album Code Blue!
#61. Best Instrumental Composition The Code Blue Suite (4 movements) – Tom Kubis
#62. Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella Snakin’ the Grass – Tom Kubis
#62. Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella Poor Butterfly – Matt Catingub
#62. Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella The Way You Look Tonight – Matt Catingub
#64. Best Recording Package Code Blue!
#68. Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical Richard Breen, Thomas Vicari, Bernie Grundman

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Review |The Jassman

Doc Stewart

Brian-HoughThe Jassman (Vol. 8 Issue 3) – Brian Hough www.emailwizard.co.za/83P.pdf 

Yep! Doc Stewart really is a doctor. He is an ER doctor for the Mayo Clinic Hospital and his performances on alto sax are as efficacious as his medical expertise.  Stewart’s Code Blue is sub-titled Cannonball Jazz Catalog #CJ-3012 which is a clue to his project of transcribing Cannonball Adderley’s solos.  As the doc would have it, “The Code Blue Suite is a musical creation that tells the story of life and death that I see every day in the ER.”  So, this 19-piece big band has a ball as it romps through some great arrangements of 14 tunes including: Homage to Bud Shank; Introduction to a Samba; Ironman Blues; The Way You Look Tonight; Poor Butterfly and Patty’s Bossa.  On to the nitty-gritty, the album will appeal not only to lovers of modern big band music. There is so much here; highly skilled musos, great energy, great tunes and most of all a highly accomplished swinging band. If this album doesn’t get you to boogie then our doc in the ER cannot save you.  As the message on the cover declares: Big Band Resuscitation!

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Review |FAME

Doc Stewart

Check out this Code Blue! review: Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange (FAME) CD review is smokin’ hot!

Doc Stewart’s a real-life medical doctor, and ironically looks like he just might be the good-guy brother to Scrubs’ devastatingly nasty quipmeister, the aggressive bad-ass Dr. Perry Cox (John C. McGinley). Just as tongue-in-cheekily, he’s accompanied inCode Blue liner photos by a buxom Hello Nurse! (Stewart’s best friend—and wife?—Patty) watching over life or death ministrations to his trusty alto sax, lying helpless right there in the ER. No need to fret, though, as the Doc’s a 24-year emergency vet, and the brass axe pulled through nicely, presently recuperating in a love nest with a sexy little clarinet. The result of his ministrations is more than evident throughout this disc. The only question remaining is: How the hell did he get so good in view of the rigorous educational process and around-the-clock professionalism necessary to an emergency M.D.? And jes’ so’s ya knows the level of quality you’re in for, the Doc’s previous release, Phoenix: A Tribute to Canonball Adderly, debuted in the #1 spot in the indie jazz new releases chart. That’d be a Code Whew! Smokin’!

Code Jesus, a variant of Zawinul’s Birdland, is the fourth movement of the Code Blue Suite, a zesty segment of this perky 14-cut hour+ CD. Lots of circular chases, lay-outs, and straight ahead blowing, not a moment of rest, instead staves and measures of ceaseless rave-up that’ll have you shimmy-boppin’ around the parlor, drink in hand, smile on face. And I really like that sassy end quotation by da Doc, the sort of addendum one rarely hears closing out such escapades. Stewart may be faced with mortality day in and day out, but not an iota of it traces through his disc.

This is big band, music, y’all, boasting a 19-member roster in full regalia. Jazz may have arisen from the blues (but, um, just as much from classical music, I’d contend, from latterday hep catz who had and still have much in common with Bartok, Stravinsky, and others), but there ain’t an ounce of blue matter anywhere here, just swingin’ hyperbolic good times and jammin’. Code Blue is full proof of just how well the fusion was accomplished. Go ahead, try to find me any tight-ass classicalists who can do what these bad boyz are doing. I dares ya. Tons of individuated and integrated multi-solos from varius musicians and layered charts provide no end of intellectual and booty-swaying, fingersnapping, toe-tapping vigor. Stewart gets the lion’s share of the spotlight, as he should, but there’s so damn much going on that you’ll never credit ego, only exuberance. There are quite a few steals written into everything as well, like the Misty refrains in Homage to Bud Shank, which some will tut-tut but I find delightful, sly homages worked into labyrinthine repertoire. Nowadays, ya win some and then ya win some, and, with Code Blue, you’re awarded even more.

Doc-Stewart_Nurse

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