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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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EMIL RICHARDS / JOE PORCARO ALLSTAR BIG BAND

Odd Men In

AIX 80035

 

 


1. Free Flight
2. This is the Moment
3. Blues for Royalty
4. Yo Go Jo Po
5. Turn Up the Audio for Claudio
6. Walking Proud
7. On Green Dolphin Street
8. Blues Machine
9. A Minor Affair
10. Hard Sock Dance

Lanny Morgan, Brian Scanlon, Pete Christlieb, Vince Trombetta, Gene Cipriano - Reeds
Charlie Davis, Chuck Findley, Bob Findley, Bob Summers - Trumpets
Andy Martin, Steve Holtman, Charley Morillas, Ken Kugler - Trombones
David Garfield - Piano
Barry Zweig - Guitar
Bruce Lett - Bass

 

This band was assembled by Emil Richards (vibes) and Joe Porcaro (drums). Emil is a leading percussionist in the studios of LA and Joe is also a leading percussionist in the same area. They both hail from Hartford Connecticut and they have both worked the full gambit of music from jazz to classical and most things in between!

The CVs of the band members justify the title of an "Allstar" big band: everyone has paid his dues, performing with the best of the best, and so as you expect this is a big band of great quality. The playing is crisp and clean and the solos a delight. The arrangements by the likes of Sammy Nestico and others are extremely musical and it is a real treat to hear them played so well.

Today there are only a few working big bands. This wonderful music has become a hobby item for musicians, who earn their living playing in other genres, or it is played by musical educators and enthusiastic amateurs. For the latter group of players this album is an indication of what can be achieved when the charts are played correctly.

The sound on the record is clean and very well balanced and a joy to listen to. The recording and the mixing by Mark Waldrep is excellent; he was also in charge of Art Direction, Production - another area where this record excels.

The DVD has two sides, one as a DVD video and the other as a DVD audio; this only plays on DVD audio players, something I don’t own.

The arrangements are by Sammy Nestico – tracks 1,2,8 and 9
Allyn Ferguson – tracks 3 and 6
Emil Radoccia – tracks 4 and 5
Bronislaw Caper – track 7
Quincy Jones – track 10.

Probably the best known of the soloists are Lanny Morgan and Pete Christlieb, but the others are all well worth paying attention to.

I recommend this DVD without any reservation. It is superb music, and it is well packaged and well recorded. Who could ask for anything more!

Don Mather



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