"One of Mike's greatest attributes is his tremendous versatility as a jazz player. He can be playing in the Charlie Parker mode...then when playing lead alto...you'll hear that beautiful romanticism that he is so capable of generating".
review of performance on Maynard Ferguson's CD: The One and Only.
"...the rapid-fire "Dr. Fox, Ph.D"...exuberant solos courtesy of Maynard and alto Mike Dubaniewicz."
"...intense and harmonically inventive..."
Alto saxophonist Mike Dubaniewicz made his mark with the late Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau Band, while he finally makes his debut as a leader with Drive Time, a splendid mix of hard bop, bop, standards, originals, and even a piece from the Baroque period. Gifted with a rich, expressive tone and the ability to arrange familiar works in novel settings, the leader's core band includes an old friend, guitarist Jeff Barone, and his next-door-neighbor, organist Ron Oswanski, plus drummer Vince Ector, with guests sprinkled in on individual numbers. Dubaniewicz opens with an intricate workout of the late Freddie Hubbard's "Hubtones," in which trumpeter Roger Lent adds a bit of extra fire. Dubaniewicz spices up Benny Golson's hip "Along Came Betty" with the inclusion of Latin percussionist Samuel Torres. The stripped-down bossa nova treatment of "Just Friends" contrasts with the explosive romp through the bop favorite "Wee." The altoist shows his mastery in "Gigue" an excerpt of a longer work by Johann Sebastian Bach, played as a duet with Barone on acoustic guitar. The alto saxophonist's two originals were inspired by well-known jazz pieces: the engaging "20-20-11" by "Stablemates," and the breezy blues "Drive Time" evolved from "Jumpin at the Woodside." A fine debut by a promising player, Mike Dubaniewicz will be one to watch.
"Dubaniewicz, a standout .... is an inventive alto voice..."
Once again Jazzed Media’s Graham Carter has provided the jazz community with an accomplished sideman’s debut CD as a leader.... Drive Time pays tribute to Denzil Best, Benny Golson, and the recently departed Freddie Hubbard. Mike also contributes two compositions of his own.
Drive Time is produced by Jeff Barone, who handles guitar duties as well. Barone had Mike play alto on his own recent Jazzed Media release (reviewed recently) and the favor is returned for Dubaniewicz here. The quality of Mike’s band is quite apparent as the entire CD was recorded in a single day. The addition of Ron Oswanski’s Hammond B-3 organ adds to the soulfulness especially on the hard bop tracks.
Things are kicked into high gear immediately with Freddie Hubbard’s classic Hubtones, with Mike and Barone taking lead. Roger Lent has Freddie’s lines on trumpet and Oswanski’s Hammond fills give a 60s Blue Note vibe. Benny Golson’s standard, Along Came Betty, is given an Afro-Cuban treatment and the two percussionists add their magic.
Maynard Ferguson is honored with I Can’t Get Started, and Mike’s ballad chops are on full display, and his sweet tone brings to mind Phil Woods. 20-20-11 follows and teams Dubaniewicz with Ferguson alumnus Kris Jensen and the interplay between the two reedmen is exemplary. Woman Across the River is straight up blues with Mike and Jeff Barone doing Bettye Crutcher’s tune proud on a song made famous by Freddie King.
Continuing to switch gears effectively, Just Friends is a bossa nova, while Wee is bop driven. Showing they have left virtually no idioms out, Barone and Mike do an exquisite duo take on the Gigue from Bach’s Partita No. 3 in E Major. Barone’s acoustic guitar mixes flawlessly with Mike’s alto. Beautiful…
Woody Shaw’s famous Moontrane brings us back to jazz and again Oswanski’s Hammond is featured. The title track closes this classy CD on a Basie “Jumpin at the Woodside" riff. Dubaniewicz’s Drive Time is prime time listening and a superb debut with spot on acoustics. Highly recommended!
commenting on Mike's sultry alto sax styling on the cut "Deep Purple" from the Dianne Schuur/Maynard Ferguson CD "Swingin' for Schuur".
"...it doesn't get any sleazier than that"
"I received and listened to the CD. very nice stuff. I especially enjoyed the clever arrangements. ... I'm really flattered that you chose THE RED SNAPPER for inclusion. That's special to me. THANKS!!!"
Drive Time is Dubaniewicz' debut as a solo artist and he celebrates in style with a collection of standards and couple of originals. They open up swinging hard on Freddie Hubbard's "Hubtones". Ron Oswanski is working the B3 giving this set a solid cool jazz feel and guitarist Jeff Barone is on top of his game as part of a strong band. Mike shows us his romantic aide on "I Can't Get Started" and "Just Friends". Barone, Oswanski, drummer Vince Ectot [sic] and Dubaniewicz really cook on "Wee". They end with the title track that serves as a showcase for the entire band.