“On a day when I’m feeling really good, I can get around almost anything I want to say on the trumpet,” responds the 32-year-old trumpeter Scott Wendholt when complemented on his technical abilities. That’s not idle bravado. His playing on “Beyond Thursday” makes it clear that he's a virtuoso, the kind of improviser who conceives and executes monstrously complex passages with such fluid elegance and golden tone that his prodigious technique never calls attention to itself.
Born July 21, 1965 in Denver, Colorado, and raised in the Mile High City, Wendholt first picked up the trumpet in the third grade and began improvising in the fifth. He was inspired by two exceptional teachers, Linda Walker and Ed Barnes. Barnes ran a city-wide elementary school group that “played some Blues and a reasonable facsimile of jazz; he was an inspirational guy who provided at least some tools for jazz improvisation. In ninth grade, Greg Gisbert, a classmate who’s a great trumpeter living in New York, hipped me to Art Blakey’s “Straight Ahead,” featuring Wynton Marsalis, which I listened to hundreds of times. Up to that point jazz to me was Al Hirt, Chuck Mangione, and Spyro Gyra, because there wasn’t really any jazz in my house. That’s when I started to realize, “Oh, wait a minute; this is Jazz,” and began to understand what the term Bebop meant. I had a lot of friends within a grade or two of me who went on to become great players, like Gisbert, Javon Jackson, John Gunther (a great tenor player), guitarist Mike Abbott, drummer Peter Abbott, and alto saxophonist Brad Leali, who I had a lot of opportunities to play with in extracurricular bands, or all-county or all-city type things. It was a very fertile time.”