VOCALS: John Stevens, Jen Hirsh, Micha Goolsby, Laura Brunner
SAXES/FLUTES/CLARINETS: Mark Zaleski, Rick Stone, Leon Cotter, Tucker Antell, Melanie Howell, Arthur Felluca
TRUMPETS: John Replogle, Yaure Muniz, Vivek Patel, Daniel Henderson, Don Clough, Matt Joseph
TROMBONES: Ryan Dragon, Clayton Dewalt, Randy Pingrey, Scott Flynn, David Roth
PIANO: Takeshi Ohbayashi
GUITAR: Chris Brown
BASS: Genevieve Rose
DRUMS: Shinya Fukumori
STRINGS (on "Moon River" only"): Zoya Tsvetkova, Clayton Mathews, Stephanie Skor, Olga Patramanskaya, Marissa Licata, Yasmine Azaiez, Mia Friedman, Yaeko Miranda Elmaleh, Asuka Usui, Joanna Mattrey, Keith Sanders, Emily Deans, Ariel Friedman, Jeremy Harman
All songs arranged by Danny Fratina.
"Olde Towne Team" and "The Evil Empire" written by Danny Fratina and Micha Goolsby.
"To Be In Love Again" written by John Stevens.
Produced by Frank Hsieh.
Big band recorded by Robert Auld and John Weston at Futura Productions in Boston, MA.
John Stevens’ vocals recorded by Matt Hayes at Wellspring Sound in Acton, MA.
Jen Hirsh’s vocals recorded by Max Coane at Mid City Sound in Los Angeles, CA.
Micha Goolsby’s vocals recorded by Chris Ambriati and Bruce Faulconer at Cake Mix Recording in Dallas, TX.
Laura Brunner's vocals recorded by Robert Auld and John Kilgore at John Kilgore Sound & Recording in NYC.
Mixed by Robert Auld at Auldworks in NYC.
Mastered by Allan Tucker at TuckerSound / Foothill Digital in New Rochelle, NY.
THE FUTURE OF BIG BAND SWING
With the release of our debut album, Trolley Songs, the 18-piece Beantown Swing Orchestra embarks on a quest to bring big band swing music into the 21st century. Not content with embracing a retro look and sound, we prefer to add innovative musical elements to this timeless art form and contribute to its evolution. This is not an easy task, as big band swing is one of the most sophisticated forms of American music ever created, with its complex chord structures achieved by four-part harmonies in three separate horn sections. However, we are more than just a band, rather a team consisting of a highly skilled arranger and composer, four extremely talented vocalists, and seventeen top-notch instrumentalists. Most team members are in their twenties and in tune with the trends of modern music yet are also rooted in the jazz/swing tradition. Two of our vocalists have performed on American Idol (John Stevens as a finalist in Season 3 and Jen Hirsh as a Hollywood contestant in Season 9), showcasing their ability to connect with a wide audience.
In this album, our 26-year-old arranger Danny Fratina transforms well-known standards and some of our original songs into unique big band showpieces. His vocal arrangements are tailored to accentuate each singer’s strengths and highlight his or her own distinctive sound and style. In addition, high-octane instrumental arrangements of two unusual cover songs provide a vehicle for our horn soloists to shine. Only by integrating these works into an album are we able to present the full spectrum of musical possibilities for this exceptional genre.
The sound on this album is pure and unadulterated. No Autotune or any other form of pitch correction was used. All of the instruments, from 17 to 31 pieces, were recorded live in one room, playing together as one ensemble. In the mixing and mastering process, little to no compression was employed, preserving dynamics and sound quality. While unconventional, we felt these measures were necessary to capture the life and soul embodied in the music and to keep it an art form rather than letting it be turned into a manufactured product.
The trolley, particularly ones used in Boston’s Green Line streetcar system, is a symbol of a modern classic enjoyed by the young and old. We have chosen this symbol to represent our band and the music we create, as we lay down tracks and see where they take us. We hope this album is just one of the many milestones on our journey.