Isrea Butler playing the trombone on stage
Apr. 30, 2024

Isrea Butler, the director of UNLV Music, released a new CD on April 30 with Vegas Records. 

The album, which was recorded at the UNLV School of Music recording studio in October 2024, was inspired by Ike Quebec's 1962 recording "Easy Living" and trombonist Bennie Green's 1959 record "Original Jazz Sound: Swing the Blues."

"The idea to record this material," says Butler, "came up during a conversation with my friend and bandmate Doug Lawrence while we were touring with the Count Basie Orchestra in Europe. When I first heard Bennie Green playing alongside one of my other trombone heroes, J.J. Johnson, I was captivated by their sound and style. So for my debut recording as a leader, I needed to pay tribute to these two jazz greats that still ring within me so deeply."

Stream the entire album below.

"Trombonist Isrea Butler, first chair in the present Count Basie Orchestra, releases a respectful homage to two trombone titans, Bennie Green and J.J. Johnson... This urbane mainstream recording enjoyed and benefitted from Chuck Foley’s crack engineering with all instruments captured in sharp relief. Butler’s trombone, a troublesome instrument to record, is prominently captured as is the tenor saxophone of his Basie bandmate Doug Lawrence." - Mild Mercury Rhythm

"The arrangements go for a classy, sophisticated air. The interplay among the band is spirited. Beyond the apparent jazz influences, they utilize popcraft within the pieces to add to that infectious, giddy energy. Lots of happiness radiates from the songs, for they have this celebratory style, a true embrace of the world around them. Isrea pays homage to the jazz greats, and this sense of timelessness adorns the atmosphere...Isrea Butler does the classics tremendous justice with flair and fantastic flourishes in Congo Lament." - Skope