At a time when musical excellence is too often measured by its decibel level, there remains a handful of composer / arrangers who prefer subtlety to bombast, gracefulness to brute strength. On the West Coast, for example, one can single out master craftsman Tom Talbert, whose eastern counterpart appears to be Canadian–born, New York–schooled Wally Dunbar, a former trumpet player in Woody Herman’s band who has worked for many years as a music preparation specialist for concerts and Broadway shows, in film and on radio, television and recordings.
Like Talbert, Dunbar won’t use a cannon when a saber will suffice, and nimbly sketches lissome portraits in sound using only pen, paper and his prolific imagination. On Everything in Time, comprised of material on which he has been working since 1992, Dunbar achieves his purpose by educing a full measure of warmth and charm from an eleven–piece ensemble that embodies a number of the New York area’s most respected studio and Jazz musicians.
In the words of another world–class arranger, Don Sebesky, Dunbar “has created a set of super scores, full of interesting lines and well–balanced voicings — intelligent without being ponderous, swinging without being slight. His talent,” Sebesky adds, “is matched by that of his great band.”