This debut work by composer/arranger Ian Charleton introduces a exciting new and singular voice to the music world. The music in this album embraces the scope of the jazz and big band tradition with influences as diverse as Gordon Goodwin, Sammy Nestico, Count Basie, Kenny Wheeler, Tom Kubis, Rob McConnell and others. Mr. Charleton combines these with his own experiences into a truly unique sound that is well worth hearing.
Featuring an all-star lineup of the best musicians of the mid-Atlantic region, the performances on this release comprise eight original compositions and two arrangements. There include two soulful vocals. Outstanding soloists contribute inspired performances as well. These include Keith Philbrick, David Fatek, and Steve Stelmaszek (saxophones), Jackie Friend (trumpet/flugelhorn), Ken Ebo (trombone), Raymond Akers (piano), Jeremy Ward (bass), and Emily Charleton (vocals). These cats are not to be missed.
The opening track, "Swing Space," combines a snappy bebop melody with a decidedly west coast bent. This is followed by "Happy Little Trees," A tribute to the great composer/arranger Sammy Nestico. This followed by the title track "Brain Chatter." This features a funky, swinging hip-hop tune with a catchy groove. "Two Bad Dudes" follows with its tough and gritty hard bop style.
The band takes a break with the pastel tone poem that is "Something Pretty." This showcases the gentle side of the band. "Sunday Afternoon Blues" follows. With lyrics co-written by the composer and his wife Emily, this song presents the story of an overworked woman in the frame of a gospel-flavored jazz waltz.
"Sunny Day" makes another departure of style by presenting a bright, happy samba. It'll leave you smiling.
Returning to more traditional inspirations, "BB's Big Bad Blues" is a tour-de-force for the band and is a "nothing but the blues" kind of blues.
The classic "America, The Beautiful" is presented here in a sultry style that again features great vocal work. The album closes with the jazz perennial "Bill Bailey" done up as a high-energy tenor battle.
Ian Charleton (1975- ) has been playing in and writing for big bands since he was 15 years old. He received his musical education at the University of North Texas where he earned a Bachelor of Musc (cum laude) in jazz performance (saxophone) in 1999 and a Master of Music (composition/arranging) in 2001. Since 2001 he made a highly successful career that has led him to perform in, write for and lead bands across five continents and several US states. He and his wife Emily currently reside in Norfolk, Virginia with their two Irish setters, Heather and Ivy.