Our second disc is dedicated to the memory of Larry Nozero, a great musician and friend who passed away shortly after the recording of our first disc. Larry was a musical leader and mentor, without whose drive and motivation this band might never have been recorded.
His brothers in the saxophone section paid homage to him on this recording with an abundance of solos and featured saxophone soli sections. We are certain you will enjoy their efforts on behalf of Larry, especially the two saxophone ballads, Quintessence and Central Park West. We miss you Larry.
Georgia is the perfect opener for our Volume II disc. It’s a standard recorded by countless artists, and most associated with the legendary Ray Charles. This swinging arrangement was done by John Clayton for the Clayton/Hamilton Big Band, and recorded on their disc
entitled Groove Shop. This arrangement features the tenor saxophone artistry of Gene Parker, who takes the melody right at the top, and solos and swings to the very end.
It’s a great high energy opener that you are sure to enjoy.
Mean Machine is a Don Sobesky original penned as a solo vehicle for Maynard Fergusen. The most well known recording of it to date was by the Buddy Rich Band. This barn burner, flag waver or whatever you will call it rips in from the start and never lets up. Ric Wolkins plays the Maynard Fergusen solo part to perfection from start to screaming finish. Soloists are Gene Parker, Ron Kischuk, Dwight Adams, Buddy Budson and Bob Harsen.
Takin’ A Chance On Love features Judie Cochill on vocals. Nothing fancy here, just a swinging big band chart and a great big band singer. Just sit back and enjoy this
entertaining arrangement by Dave Wolpe, and don’t miss the Buddy Budson offerings here as well.
Groovin’ Hard is a well worn big band musicians’ favorite. This Don Menza original was a staple of the Buddy Rich Band, and carries with it the writing you recognize from Don Menza’s own big band as well as that of Louie Bellson, another and for whom Don Menza wrote extensively. This arrangement pushes hard, yet comfortably lays back melodically within the groove. It’s a roaring, swinging big band number that’s fun to play. The chart features Gene Parker again, as well as the entire saxophone section.
Central Park West is a John Coltrane composition. It is an enchanting melody, arranged by John Fedchock for the Woody Herman Band, using a variety of colors and textures to bring out the beauty of this composition. Gene Parker’s solo sounds so much a part of this particular arrangement, that it sounds almost as if it had been written out as well.
A Tribute to Art Fern is one of the earliest recorded charts of Rob McConnell and Boss Brass. The movie like fanfare opening is followed by a straight ahead blues, and once it starts swinging, it won’t let go of you until the final double shout chorus at the end. The arrangment features Gene Parker and Ron Kischuk.
St. Thomas is a standard amongst jazz musicians. This Sonny Rollins tune is melodically simple and playful, and with it’s Caribbean influence, affords players the chance to have a little fun soloing. This Mark Taylor arrangement is typical of his writing for his own band, The Taylor/Fidyk Big Band. It features a great full band unison and soli section, and showcases Gene Parker and Ed Gooch.
The Groove Merchant is a Jerome Richardson composition arranged by Thad Jones for the Thad Jones Mel Lewis Orchestra. Thad Jones, being a native of Pontiac, Michigan, has always been a favorite of Detroit area musicians. His unique style of writing makes the music challenging and fun, and the sound of his charts is totally unmistakable. This arrangement features Russ Miller, Dwight Adams, Buddy Budson and the entire saxophone section.
Quintessence is simply one of the most beautiful melodies ever composed. This is a Quincy Jones original penned for his own big band and features on a recording by the same name. The writing is absolutely masterful in the way it sounds as fresh today as when it was first written. This is Pete Kahn’s chance to shine on this disc, and it is one of the finest solo displays you will ever hear both technically and artistically.
I’m Beginning To See The Light is a Duke Ellington staple, and few if any big band tribute recordings would be complete without one of Duke’s tunes. This Mark Taylor arrangement showcases the vocal talents of Judie Cochill once again, in a back and forth playful joust with the band in the second chorus.
We close our second disc with a Count Basie classic, Blues in Hoss’ Flat. This Frank Foster tune and arrangement is a swinging big band chart reminiscent of a bygone era of jazz. It features Dwight Adams’ playful plunger muted trumpet, as well as Gene Parker, Ed Gooch and Buddy Budson. Dwight’s soloing to the end seemed like the perfect way to say that’s it for now, more to follow.