Rob McConnell & The Boss Brass - Canada's Own!

Rob McConnell & The Boss Brass - A Legendary, World-Class Big Band from Toronto, Canada

Rob McConnell

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Born in London, Ontario, McConnell took up the valve trombone in high school and began his performing career in the early 50’s performing with saxophonist Don Thompson Edmonton, Bobby Gimby and fellow Canadian Maynard Ferguson. He also studied arranging and composition with Gordon Delamont. In 1968, Rob formed The Boss Brass, a big band that would become his primary performing and recording unit through the 1970’s into the early 2000’s.

A unique musical voice, cutting wit and meticulous leadership on the bandstand were just a few of McConnell’s trademarks.He was consummate professional, a perfectionist and difficult task master- an arranger of the highest order and one hell of a trombone player. For all of us that knew and worked with Rob, he made our lives richer in the process.

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The Boss Brass

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“The Best Damn Band In The Land” may have been coined by Rob McConnell himself, for one of the dozens of albums he recorded with his legendary big band, but it wasn’t an undeserved boast. Rob McConnell & The Boss Brass set a standard and defined the Canadian sound for big band music for decades.

Rob McConnell assembled the original Boss Brass from Toronto’s finest studio musicians. The instrumentation of the The Boss Brass was originally sixteen pieces, consisting of trumpets, trombones, french horns and a rhythm section, but no saxophones (woodwinds).¬†McConnell introduced a sax section in 1970, and expanded the trumpet section to include a fifth trumpet player in 1976, bringing the total to 22 members.

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Discography

The Boss Brass. 1968. CTL 477-5015/RCA CTLS-1015

Boss Brass Two. 1969. CTL 477-5118/RCA CTLS-1118

The Sound of the Boss Brass. 1970. CBC LM-73

Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass. 1971. CTL 477-5143. Reissued as Down to Brass Tacks. Pickwick PC-40013

Rob: Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass 4. 1972. CTL 477-5159. Reissued as Odds and Ends. Pickwick PC-44007

The Best Damn Band in the Land. 1974. CTL CTLS-5182/U Artists UALA-309G

The Jazz Album. 1976. Attic LAT-1015

Big Band Jazz. 1977. 2-Umbrella UMB-DD4

Nobody Does It Better. 1977-8. CTL CTLS-5215/Phonodisc NV-5004

Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass Again! 1978. 2-Umbrella UMB-GEN-1-12

The Hi-Lo’s – Back Again. 1978. MPS 0068.217

Singers Unlimited with Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass. 1978. MPS 0068.238

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