MORE ABOUT THE ALBUM
This is a swinging album by one of Southern California’s finest big bands, offering a rich and diverse sampling of evergreen Big Band Era gems. Included are authentic salutes to nine giants of the Era – Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ted Heath, Stan Kenton, Gene Krupa, Glenn Miller, Bennie Moten, Jan Savitt, and Artie Shaw. A new composition, “That Same Old Feeling” by nationally acclaimed composer-arranger Tom Kubis, adds bossa nova spice to this cornucopia of big band sounds and styles. The Kubis touch is also demonstrated on an exciting arrangement of “Teach Me Tonight,” featuring a swinging tenor sax solo by Ted Heath veteran Bob Efford and an explosive grand finale of unabated brass.
The album spotlights the many fine soloists who make up this band. Additional listening treats include a gorgeous, stratospheric twin trumpet feature on the ballad, "Stars Fell on Alabama,” and five contrasting vocals contributed by versatile Ginger Berglund. The album booklet identifies the soloists on each selection and provides color photos and bios of the band.
The album was recorded in one long six-hour day (two three-hour sessions) at Cal State University Long Beach. “Unbelieveable!” said the weary brass players. “Next time let’s make it three days!
MORE ABOUT THE BAND
One of the most active big bands in Southern California, the Tracy Wells Big Swing Band has developed an enthusiastic following of fans from Santa Barbara to San Diego. Summer concerts in parks and malls, corporate events and winter holiday celebrations augment the routine bookings of the band for hotels, clubs, and private parties. In addition to the extensive programming variety that includes big band literature of today, the repertoire features exciting re-creations of the Big Band Era's "Great Moments in Swing" as performed by 24 of the Era’s best bands.
The band’s configuration is the familiar full mix of five saxophone/woodwinds, four trumpets, four trombones, piano, bass, drums, and guitar, plus the leader’s vibraphone. Vocals by Ginger Berglund, by Tracy, and (occasionally) by the “FourStar Voices,” augment the band’s entertainment capabilities.
The band's roster is filled with impressive resumes and some national reputations:
Tracy Wells - leader and Long Beach resident, is a transplanted Midwesterner from Quincy, Illinois. In earlier years he led big bands at the U.S. Naval Academy and at the University of Missouri. Later in Southern California he was featured with the Johnny Ricardo Latin band, free-lanced with jazz groups, vocal groups, and led other bands. Tracy is a trumpeter, vibraphonist, vocalist and arranger.
Ginger Berglund - Contributing to the band's swinging styles with her polished performances of ballads, swing, and jazz - even in foreign languages! – Ginger’s mellow voice reflects her extensive experience in theater, opera, other bands and jazz groups. And she looks as great as she sounds!
Gerry Schroeder, Piano - Pianist-conductor for Luci Arnaz, Joey Bishop, Vic Damone, Four Freshmen, Shirley Jones, Leslie Uggams, Peggy Lee, and more. Pianist with Jack Sheldon, Charlie Ventura, Henry Mancini, Lalo Schifrin, Long Beach Municipal Band.
Frank DeVito, Drums - Long stints with Terry Gibbs and Tex Beneke. Frank Sinatra recordings. Frank has performed with many of the top bands and is always in demand, a fixture at the "Sweet & Hot" Music Festival.
Doug MacDonald, Guitar - Performed with George Shearing, Sarah Vaughn, Joe Williams, Buddy Rich, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, recording artist, bandleader.
Ernie Nunez, Bass - Performed with George Shearing, Tex Beneke, Toni Tennile, Henry Mancini, Peter Marshall, show orchestras and studios.
Kim Richmond - composer, arranger, leader of his own 22-piece recording jazz orchestra, concert soloist, Grammy award nominee and former member the Stan Kenton, Les Brown, Louis Bellson, Billy May orchestras, Kim leads the saxophone section.
Charlie Orena - Ray Anthony, Buddy Childers orchestras, Mel Torme, Maureen McGovern, major film, soundtrack albums, Budweiser commercials.
Bob Efford. - the "hot tenor man" with the great British band of Ted Heath, Bob has also performed with Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Les Brown, Bill Holman, Ray Anthony and more, outstanding skills for all woodwinds.
Bill Jurney - Billy May, Jerry Gray, Vaughn Monroe orchestras. Ringling Bros. Circus Band, studios, shows, recordings, Southern California free-lance.
Fred Peters - Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Civic Light Opera, Ringling Bros. Circus Band, recording studios, music educator.
Darrel Gardner - lead trumpet, also an arranger and conductor, has been a stalwart with the Les Brown band for years, and has worked with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and others.
Pat Mullen - Americus Brass Band, Pacific Brass ensemble, Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus, LA Jazz workshop, Disneyland Band, movie soundtracks, recordings, shows.
Steve Stassi - Modernaires show, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra/Bill Tole, Al Martino, Frankie Lane, Temptations, cruise ships.
Dan Bryan - Bill Berry's LA Big Band, Cap Pierce Juggernaut, Ray Anthony, Les Brown orchestras.
Charlie Morillas - Artie Shaw, Jack Sheldon, Tom Kubis, John LaBarbara orchestras, Gordon Goodwin's "Big Phat Band." Recorded/performed Paul Anka, Barry Manilow, Ray Charles.
Dave Ryan - Glenn Miller and Harry James orchestras, Disneyland Band, recordings, theater, TV studio orchestras.
Jerry Wheeler - Americus Brass Band, Long Beach Brassworks, Pacific Brass Ensemble, cruise ships, shows.
Rich Bullock - Anchoring the brass section on bass trombone, Rich has performed with Harry James, Al Hirt, Don Ellis, Bill Watrous bands. Show and symphony orchestras. Vocalist with the "FourStar Voices."