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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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The Big Band Sound





1. The Stars and Stripes for Ever
2. Makin’ Whopee
3. Li’l Darlin’
4. Samba De Los Gatos
5. The Pink Panther
6. Frankie & Johnny
7. Route 66
8. Drink Tolly Only
9. Yankee Doodle Dandy
10. Moonlight Serenade
11. American Patrol
12. Hot Toddy
13. Georgia
14. Take the A Train
15. Stardust
16. Rabble Rouser
17. Swing Low
18. Cruisin’ for a Bluesin’
Don Lusher (trombone); Emer McParland (vocals)
The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Plymouth/Captain J R Perkins


Services Bands have always been one of the main entry points into the music business in the UK. My experience has been that on nearly every occasion the musicians produced have been very well trained and capable of more than holding their own in the profession at large. This band demonstrates the point well with a faultless programme of Big Band Classics that should delight the many fans of this type of music.

The programme is very well chosen with some charts which will always be musts for such a programme, but a nice selection of others that are of more recent origin. These include the Maynard Ferguson band arrangement of Cruisin’ for a Bluesin’, which is a challenge for any band to play well … and they succeed!

The two guest artists Don Lusher on trombone and Emer McParland on vocals sound very comfortable with the support they receive and each makes a useful contribution to an enjoyable album.

Makin’ Whoppee has solos from Gordon Carter (alto) and Ivan Hutchinson (trumpet). The trumpet solo on Li’l Darlin’ is played by Steve Williams, Pink Panther features Michael Miller on tenor. Frankie and Johnny has Don Lusher playing his own arrangement. Emer McParland is the vocal on Route 66 and Martin Dale is the alto soloist on Drink Tolly Only.

Baritone player Bob Johnson handles the featured riff admirably on Hot Toddy; the trumpet solo is played by Hugh Williams. Emer returns for Georgia and Richard Fenwick solos on The A Train. Don Lusher plays a delightful Bill Geldard arrangement of Stardust. Rabble Rouser is taken really fast and is well played throughout. Swing Low is the Billy May arrangement and it features Ivan Hutchinson on trumpet.

Cruisin’ is taken right up to speed and is played well by all involved. The saxes are particularly clean in their execution of this difficult piece.

Overall a very enjoyable Big Band, proving that the services are still producing a fine crop of musicians capable of playing in many styles including a rhythm section that swings with the best.

Don Mather





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