Grammys | Code Blue!

Doc Stewart

Doc-Stewart_NurseNever would I have dreamed to be so honored as a jazz musician. It appears that our record Code Blue! has been submitted for Grammy consideration.

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album:
“Code Blue!” Doc Stewart’s Big Band Resuscitation

Best Instrumental Composition:
“The Code Blue Suite” Tom Kubis, composer

Best Instrumental Arrangement:
“Poor Butterfly” Matt Catingub, arranger; “The Way You Look Tonight” Matt Catingub, arranger; “Snakin’ the Grass” Tom Kubis, arranger.

Don’t ask me why, but my solos on “The Last Breath Blues” & “Patty’s Bossa” are also on the list Best Improvised Jazz Solo.  I do understand how Rich Breen, Tommy Vicari, and Bernie Grundman are up for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

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Ric Bang | CD Review

Doc Stewart

Ric BangJazz Scan Review by Ric Bang

Great, swinging big bands are few and far between these days. A lot of water has passed beneath the bridge since we’ve heard groups that meet the standards set by Basie, Ellington, Gillespie, Mingus, Adderley, Ferguson, Corea, GRP and Grusin. Well, weep no more; Resuscitation, a big band led by Chris (Doc) Stewart, has arrived.

Stewart is a real doctor, and has practiced that art for more than 25 years. Before that, he lived in the musical world. He was the sixth of nine children, in a family where everyone played an instrument. Born in Anaheim, California, he moved to a farm in Illinois, then back to Anaheim when he was 12 (where, incidentally, he lived in a house just doors away from his future wife, Patty). He chose the alto sax as his horn, complementing with flute during his high school days. He won a talent contest at Disneyland, and played gigs during and after his high school years.

He was good enough to work with Louie Bellson, Bill Watrous, Toshiko/Lew Tabakin and others. He and Patty were married in 1981, and for the next decade he lived two lives: playing jazz and earning a medical degree. Patty was instrumental in the success of the latter endeavor, and they recently celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary. Doc currently practices in the ER section of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.

In his “spare” time, he spends hours transcribing the music of his favorite artists: all of Eddie Daniels’ solos from his To Bird, with Love LP, and all of Cannonball Adderley’s solos (the basis of Stewart’s 2005 release, Phoenix: A Tribute to Cannonball Adderley).

This new album is stunning. The big band consists of six woodwinds, six trumpets and flugelhorns, four trombones, piano/keyboard, bass and drums. Every member is a star in his own right; as just one example, Stewart and pianist Matt Catingub have played together for more than 30 years.

We begin here with the four movements of “Code Blue Suite,” written by Stewart and Tom Kubis; that vibrant wake-up call runs more than 20 minutes. The next 10 swingers consist of traditional charts used by the Cannonball Adderley Quintet and icons such as Kubis, Julian Adderley, Hal Galpar, Oscar Pettiford, Bobby Timmons and Charles Lloyd. The two American Songbook standards are Kern’s “The Way You Look Tonight” and Hubbell’s “Poor Butterfly.” Most of the arrangements are by Stewart, Kubis and Catingub.

It all swings like crazy, and the solo work — whether by Stewart or other band members — is outstanding. I particularly enjoy the lines done by the entire woodwind sections, on “The Way You Look Tonight” and “Bohemia After Dark,” in the fashion of the old SuperSax band. All I can say is more … more … more!

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WDCB Jazz & Blues

Doc Stewart

WDCB Jazz & Blues will feature Code Blue! this Sunday at 6 pm Chicago time. The DJ is Bill O’Connell.OConnell_Bill

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Ron Weinstock | CD Review

Doc Stewart

Jazz & Blues Review - by Ron WeinstockRon Weinstock

Chris ‘Doc’ Stewart is a world-class alto saxophonist who developed his talent before entering into his day job as an ER physician at the famed Mayo Clinic. This is the second CD of his big band, Resuscitation, comprised of musicians that he associated with in his pre-medicine days that include a number top studio and jazz musicians in the LA scene. Some of the more prominent names here include pianist Matt Catingub, bassist Kevin Axt, drummer Steve Moretti, trombonists Bill Reichenbach Andy Martin and Scott Kyle, Trumpeters Wayne Bergeron, Jeff Bunnell and Ron Stout, and saxophonist Bill Liston. Arrangements are by pianist Catingub and Tom Kubis, who co-wrote the centerpiece of this album, “Code Blue Suite,” with Doc Stewart.

Stewart advises that the four-part “Code Blue Suite” “tells the story of life and death I see everyday in the ER.” The bluesy roots of Stewart’s music here is evident on the opening “Code Pink – Born to See Blues’ that celebrates birth and the uncertainty life brings, followed by “Ironman Blues – Dig Me Man!.” This part has a definite fifties-sixties Basie feel about it with strong playing from Reichenbach and Bergeron in addition to the leader’s own playing. “The Last Breath Blues – All
Alone Now” opens with some unaccompanied playing from Stewart before to starting a bluesy riff with the rhythm and its leader getting very heated before a segment incorporating some emergency room effects a spoken part before a sharp ending. The concluding part of the suite, “Code Jesus – New Life,” is quite lively and celebratory with nice playing from Stewart and Stout, but kudos also to Axt for his electric bass playing.

The remainder of the album includes performances associated with Cannonball Adderley, including the driving “The Sticks”; a spirited Bobby Timmons’ “Dis Here”; Adderley’s ”Introduction to a Samba” and Oscar Pettiford’s “Bohemia After Dark.” Stewart’s previous big band album was a tribute to Adderley and his music publishing company is Cannonball Jazz. The big
band arrangements are nicely done and with the solid soloing providing nice framing for what were originally small group performances. The leader certainly plays with a fluid, robust bluesy attack. Kubis contributed a lovely ballad, “Tribute to Bud Shank,” while Catingub contributes a bright, brassy arrangement for “Poor Butterfly”‘ as well as the lightly swinging treatment for “The Way You Look Tonight,” with Andy Martin’s trombone solo of note.

“Code Blue!” is a is recording that should have wide appeal with first rate soloing and swinging ensemble playing by this excellent big band.

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Jack Goodstein | CD Review

Doc Stewart

If the concept behind Code Blue!, the Doc Stewart album released in June, is what he calls the “resuscitation ” of the big band sound, or perhaps even more miraculously the resurrection of that sound, not only does it work as a metaphor, but if enough jazz fans give it a listen, it is in fact likely to rise to miracle. And that is only fitting since not only is Stewart a fine alto sax player working with a talented group of musicians, but he is also an ER physician at the prestigious Mayo Clinic. Who better to resuscitate (resurrect) a patient hovering between life and death?

Hyperbole aside, Code Blue! is an album with a truly authentic big band sound. Much of it relies on some excellent arrangements from Tom Kubis or the band’s pianist Matt Catingub. Whether taking a classic tune like “The Way You Look Tonight” or an original piece like Stewart’s “Patty’s Bossa,” they manage to find the right combination of traditional big band riffs and creative variations to achieve a sound that echoes, but doesn’t merely copy the past-big band with a contemporary vibe.

The album opens with “The Code Blue Suite,” a four-part Kubis and Stewart composition that musically channels theCode_Blue_Poster life and death experience of the ER. The parts move from the innocence of birth, “Code Pink,” through “Ironman Blues,” which alludes to the man who feels he has the strength to deal with everything on his own, and “The Last Breath Blues,” a portrayal of the human need to find something larger than the self. It ends with “Code Jesus,” a gospel-like assertion of faith. Stewart, a Cannonball Adderley aficionado ends appropriately with a quotation from “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.”

There is a sweet version of “Poor Butterfly” with featured work by Stewart and Bill Liston. The set also includes tunes by Adderley (“The Sticks” and “Introduction to a Samba”), Oscar Pettiford (“Bohemia After Dark”) and Charles Lloyd (“Song My Lady Sings”). With 14 songs in total, the album offers almost an hour and 20 minutes of exciting big band jazz, plenty to keep discerning listeners smiling.

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JITH Recording | Doc Stewart Trio

Doc Stewart


You can download the recorded tunes from the September 5th JITH concert from my public Dropbox folder.
 I used a Sony PCM-M10 with the built-in stereo mics.Meditation

Groovin' High

 

Stars Fell on Alabama

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Doc Stewart Performance | Jazz In The Hills

Doc Stewart

Doc StewartDoc Stewart Trio with Chris Finet (bass) & John Lewis (drums).

Friday September 5th 7-9:30 $10

Desert Canyon Golf Club
10440 N Indian Wells Dr. Fountain Hills, AZ 85268

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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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