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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

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Fun Time

SWR Music CD 93.247



1. Blue Samuel
2. A New Day
3. A Pair of Aces
4. Out of the Night
5. D'Ann
6. Fun Time
7. Celebration
8. Struttin' with some Barbecue
9. Orchids and Butterflies
10. Not Really the Blues
11. The Four of Us (You 'n' Me)
12. Rare Moment
13. Bye Bye Blues
14. A Song for Sarah
15. King Porter Stomp

Recorded July 2008, Stuttgart, Germany. 


Sammy Nestico came to fame as the arranger for the Count Basie Band between 1968 and 1984, during which period the band released no less than 10 CDs of his work. Every musician who has played in a swing band knows of his arrangements; they are always by far the most musical in the pad and the ones that the musicians like to play.

This CD was always destined to be a winner therefore. The other thing you need when you have a programme of Sammy's arrangements, is a band capable of doing justice to them and the SWR Big Band fills this role excellently. This is a big band of real quality: the ensemble playing is perfection, the soloists exciting and the rhythm section never fails to swing.

Why are the arrangements so good? In the first case they are written by a man with the experience to know what a first-class big band should sound like, who is prepared to make sections across the band as well as conventionally. If he writes a difficult passage, it is because that is what the piece requires, not to demonstrate that he is so clever he can write ensembles that are near impossible to play. He writes phrases that suit the tempo of a piece and he leaves sufficient solo space to allow any band's players to demonstrate their improvisational capabilities.

This is as good a big band CD as you will ever hear and I recommend it to all fans of big-band music. This is our music folks! Buy it! You will not in any way be disappointed.


Don Mather 

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