Mike Rinta
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Mike Rinta

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Mike Rinta’s resume as a sideman is as impressive as it is varied: he’s backed up jazz legends Herbie Hancock and Arturo Sandoval, but he’s also shared a stage with Jerry Garcia, Santana, and, just recently, Sly and the Family Stone on an international tour. Rinta’s solo debut Eponymous makes it easy to see why such stellar and diverse artists seek him out. He plays with lyrical charm and mixes styles seamlessly. The 12 original compositions on Eponymous are tasteful and fun, extroverted yet thoughtful takes on traditional jazz, blues, hard bop, and R&B.

Traditional New Orleans jazz is a big influence for Rinta. The music doesn’t sound old fashioned, though, just fun and bouncy. Most of the tracks have a real backbeat, like traditional jazz mixed with R&B. The tune “Scat That” sounds like a New Orleans jazz band covering Sly and The Family Stone. It’s funky, bouncy, and the harmony is more pop than jazz. Rinta also throws in one bluesy Latin – Jazz hip – shaker called “Ronnie,” and an unusual Trombone and Hammond organ duet called “That’s What She Said.” All the soloists do well, and Rinta plays with a clear, precise tone. A Trombone sound that’s sloppy suffers more than any other instrument, but Rinta keeps it clean.
There’s nothing groundbreaking here but all the songs are original and it’s all done well. Jazz fans will like this, especially traditional jazz buffs, but anyone looking for something fun will get a kick out of it, too.

4 stars

Nathaniel Rolnick – MuzikReviews.com Staff - MuzikReviews.com


Discography

"Eponymous" - Mike Rinta WH-0294 release date: 10/27/09

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Bio

DUST GROOVE SAYS...
A great straight set from Wide Hive Records -- a label that's been shaking off some of its experimental sides in recent years, and has really started to move strongly into soulful jazz! Trombonist Mike Rinta heads up the group here, but the ensemble also features great work from Paul Branin on tenor sax -- who blows with a relaxed, confident tone that really matches Rinta's energy nicely. Other players include Kevin Zuffi on piano, Adam Shulman on Hammond, Tim Eschliman on bass, and Jimmy Sanchez on drums -- all of whom give most of the tunes a groove that's almost an update on older soul jazz modes, but with a few New Orleans undercurrents in the rhythms. Titles include "Never Again", "Don't Burn The Roux", "Little Miss Leffler", "Old Stroll", and "North Beach Millie".

AMAZON.COM SAYS...
"Mike Rinta releases his first solo record, aptly named Eponymous. Featuring New Orleans-style jazz with funky undertones, this album is sure to land solidly between The Meters and King Oliver. Incredible horn arrangements, piano jams, and syncopated drums combine to make the perfect sweet & spicy musical gumbo."

BIOGRAPHY
Michael Rinta was born in San Francisco where he grew up surrounded by music. His family's musical influence rubbed off on him as he began playing piano and organ by ear at an early age. At 11, he started playing the trombone. Mainly influenced by the styles of Frank Rosolino and Julian Priester, Mike developed an articulate and technical style exuding personality and intensity in each note. He furthered his studies at Chabot College taking jazz theory and performance courses as well as playing in the Jazz Ensemble at Cal State Hayward. In 1984, Mike started freelancing around the SF Bay Area with various jazz, blues, and salsa bands including Orquesta Actualidad and Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. In 1989, he joined the Carnival Cruise lines for a few years before returning to the Bay area where he continued to build his resume with bands like the Tommy Castro Band, Harvey Mandell, and the Zazu Pitts Memorial Orchestra.

In the late 90's, Mike played with a myriad of accomplished bands and musicians. He toured North America and Europe with Michelle Shocked and also the Dynatones, won a Bammie Award (Bay Area Music Award) for Salsa Album of the Year, and performed with Santana, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Buddy Guy, Arturo Sandoval, Bob Wier, and more. He also recorded for the Junius Courtney Big Band, Harvey Mandell, Mitch Woods, Avance, and others. Over the past ten years, he has recorded and toured all over world including Japan, Italy, Turkey, Denmark, Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland and Russia. He was the featured trombonist with Sly & The Family Stone, John Lee Hooker Jr., Variable Unit, Calvin Keys, Harvey Mandell, Brass Monkey Brass Band, Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, and others.

A staple player in the music circuit for over 20 years, Mike Rinta delivers his much anticipated debut solo record, Eponymous. It is a lovingly rendered medley of moody organic jazz with New Orleans-style composition and arrangement. It has already begun to receive rave reviews and is sure to impact the current music scene. This album will continue to advance Mike's solo career and keep him as one of the most in-demand trombone players SF Bay Area.