Bob Curnow comes by his musical talents honestly. A member
of Stan Kenton's trombone section in the 1960's, he re-joined
the band in 1973 to begin a four-year stint as A&R director,
arranger, composer, producer and general manager of Kenton's
Creative World Records. In that position, he produced over 25
albums, six of which featured his own compositions or arrangements.
One notable highlight was his rousing adaptation for the Kenton
band of the music of Chicago and Blood Sweat & Tears (Kenton
Plays Chicago.) His version of "Once Upon a Time" stands
out as the most romantic and melodic Kenton track ever recorded.
Curnow later became president of the International Association
of Jazz Educators (IAJE) and his influence was instrumental in
shaping the organization as it is today. He also spent eleven
years as Director of Bands and Jazz Studies at California State
University in Los Angeles and, prior to that, taught at Michigan
State and Case Western Reserve Universities. Curnow has been
a guest conductor of many symphony orchestras, such as the Boston
Pops and the Cleveland Philharmonic, and all-state jazz ensemble
throughout the United States. He has served as a clinician or
adjudicator at jazz festivals in forty states and Canada. For
eight years, Curnow also directed the McDonald's All-American
High School Jazz Band, touring the country and discovering many
talented young players who since have become prominent in their
Currently the leader of the New Jazz Repertory Ensemble of
Spokane, Curnow heads Sierra Music Publications, one of America's
fastest-growing music publishers. Sierra prints and distributes
many of the charts used by the bands of such jazz greats as Stan
Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Bill Holman, Les Hooper and many others,
as well as Bob's own arrangements of the music of the Yellowjackets.
It was in 1982 that Bob Curnow first became fascinated with
the complexity, intelligence and melodic beauty of the music
of the Pat Metheny Group. Shortly thereafter he began transcribing
select Metheny compositions. At first, he merely wanted to satisfy
his curiosity about their musical content, but soon he began
to hear the possibility of arranging these works for big band.
Curnow ultimately penned some twelve arrangements of compositions
by Pat Metheny and/or Lyle Mays. These works stand as stellar
examples of the art of arranging at its finest. The resulting
album, The Music of Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays, is the
culmination of Curnow's decade-long dream and clearly demonstrates
that big band jazz can be as poignant and relevant today as ever.