The reviews have been wonderful for “Lonely Town”
Alan Kaplan’s new release on Rylan Records

Don Heckman for the LA Times wrote:

Trombonist Kaplan has probably performed on thousands of recordings and soundtracks, from “The Simpsons” to Barbra Streisand. For his own debut recording, he gathered a collection of equally gifted studio associates, brought in such fine arrangers as Russ Garcia, Bill Cunliffe and Tom Ranier, and assembled a kind of sumptuous, string-filled, instrumental version of Frank Sinatra’s atmospheric late-night recordings. Kaplan’s lush sound and moody way with a melody are front and center in a collection of tunes overflowing with the enigmatic qualities of love lost and found�ētunes such as “Angel Eyes,” “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry,” “I Fall in Love Too Easily” and “Only the Lonely.” Best experienced with a bottle of Cabernet and a roaring fireplace.

Leonard Feather for the LA Times wrote:

LA Times – Wed., April 19, 1978 Part IV 1 5 5. II
JAZZ REVIEW Pilgrimage Opens With Turbulence BY LEONARD FEATHER

The 12th annual spring season of Pilgrimage Concerts, at the Ford Theater, was launched Sunday with a performance by Turbulence. The title, fortunately, referred neither to the weather (variously sunny and overcast) nor to most of the music. This 12-piece band (five brass, three saxes and a rhythm section with two guitars) is co-led by Craig Pallett and David Crigger, whose combined age is 45. Pallett plays trumpet and writes most of the music. Crigger, who does some of the writing, is an amusing announcer and one of the most intelligent jazzrock drummers around. Early in the concert, introducing a ballad, Crigger said, “We’ll see if we can find some colors in the band besides the real loud and tasteless ones.” This disarming statement, which made you forgive such subsequent pieces as “Pack It Up” and the pretentious, complex concluding work, “Space Race,” was justified by Crigger’s “A Dream ‘ Come True,” in which Pallett played fluegelhorn with unhurried sensitivity.

The band employs what used to be considered odd meters: One tune was a samba by Crigger in 74 to which the use of three flutes brought color and spirit. Impossible though it was to detect a future Miles Davis or Sonny Rollins in the band, several soloists were capable and one, added since the band’s appearance here last year, is a great deal more. Alan Kaplan, playing trombone at length a cappella (and later joined by the band) in Pallett’s “Amphibian Phase II,” revealed that he has done a lot of practicing and a great deal of thinking. The orchestra is tightly organized; its brass section punches accurately and its rhythm team sometimes overcomes two self-imposed handicaps: no keyboards and a fuzzy -sounding synthesized electric bass.

Politics and music rarely mix, but Sunday afternoon we were told from the stage that if the Jarvis initiative passes, this free-admission concert series, a local tradition since 1967, will be an immediate casualty. Presumably the fans went home to apprise their voting-age parents of the situation. Producer Jay Foster has chosen well: Art Pepper arrives Sunday, followed by Bill Barry and an Ellington-type combo April 30, Ted Nash May 7 and the Harold Land Blue Mitchell Quintet May 14.

Jack Bowers for All About Jazz wrote:

Alan Kaplan’s name may be new to you but it’s well�ēknown among music professionals in Los Angeles where he’s one of the area’s busiest and most sought�ēafter studio musicians, having played trombone on everything from Star Trek to The Simpsons, Streisand concerts to Sleepless in Seattle, not to mention thousands of cartoons and other films. Even though remarkably successful in those ventures, the youngest trombonist ever to play with the Buddy Rich band (he was nineteen at the time) always dreamed of someday recording an album of classic ballads specially arranged to accentuate his warm, sensuous horn. Lonely Town is Kaplan’s dream come true. Backed by a large orchestra of strings, woodwinds and horns and playing charts by seven first�ēclass arrangers, Kaplan pours heart and soul into fifteen ethereal ballads, five of which were recorded in 1996, the others last year. There’s little improvisation, and the finished product is reminiscent of those “late�ēnight” albums for dancing or romancing fashioned nearly half a century ago by Jackie Gleason, Percy Faith, Mantovani and others, with Kaplan’s silky�ēsmooth trombone supplanting Gleason’s charismatic trumpet soloist, Bobby Hackett, or Faith’s seductive oboe / English horn tandem as the dominant voice. Joe Curiale was the arranger / conductor in ’96, with four others �Ĕ Russ Garcia, Bill Cunliffe, Tom Ranier, Steve Bernstein �Ĕ sharing the podium on the more recent recording date (September ’01) and Hoyt Bohannon and Bob Alcivar supervising the “bonus tracks” (“Try to Remember,” “Don’t Like Goodbyes”), recorded last June and August. Kaplan is listed on “trombones,” as he becomes an electronically enhanced trombone “choir” on “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring” and the bonus tracks, the last two without the orchestra. Lonely Town, while beautifully arranged and played, is by no means a Jazz album, something prospective buyers should keep in mind. This is an earnest valentine to those who remember and appreciate lovely music as it used to be played �Ĕ signed, sealed and affectionately delivered by an unrepentant and extravagantly talented romanticist./td>


Don Lusher for “The Trombonist”
The British Trombone Society Journal wrote:

If you like good ballad playing, this is for you.
Alan Kaplan is a great player. He uses his very fine range to advantage and his legato playing is just right for this type of playing. Add to this his very good breath control and you will learn that he has the full kit. His use of vibrato is very tasteful, nothing is overdone.
Most of all, he plays with great feeling. This is not cheap sentimentality demonstrated with a few slurps and glisses, no, he plays straight from the heart. Whatever the mood of the song, he gets right into it. You can feel his joy, his sorrow, his love and his heartache.
The backing to all of this is orchestral. How wonderful to hear real strings, woodwinds, horns and, of course, a rhythm section and harp. There are five top arrangers from around LA, and each one has given his own treatment to these lovely songs. To me both sound and balance live up to this quality product. The cover details are very interesting, the full personnel is given. On some titles Alan tracks on other trombone parts, and he gives us the details of the models of trombone he used.
He speaks of the inspiration given by Murray McEachern, Joe Howard, Urbie Green, Lloyd Ulyate, Dick Nash, and Buddy Morrow, also his teacher, Roy Main. A nice thought!