I seem to have tapped in to a rich vein of big band music recently.. One of the most spectacular recordings is the one subject of this post. I have been seeing Phil Kelly's name associated with great arrangements for some years. Not the least of these is the impudent reworking of Sweet Georgia Brown, a dream of a swing arrangement re titled SWEET GEORGIA UPSIDE DOWN. Reading the liner notes there is a distinct impression that Mr. Kelly has an irreverent side. The opening track on this exceptional CD is a sendup of CAMPTOWN RACES -DAMP BROWN PLACES.If this is commercially available I would buy it, the title alone is worth the costs. The audience will be with you all the way. Of course you have to back up such irreverence with a damn fine arrangement. Great workout for the ensemble, tenor Pete Christleib, drummer Gary Hobbs and the trumpet of Jay Thomas.
It is always useful to associate an album or style with another band you may be aware of. I would guess that anyone who has enjoyed John Von Ohlen's excellent Cincinnati based Blue Wisp Big Band, will eat this up.
Personnel and track listings are below : In a nutshell this is a hard swinging big band bursting with fine soloists from the Seattle area and guests. The Guests: Pete Christleib, Andy Martin, Bill Ramsay. The drummer is Gary Hobbs whose contribution is nothing less than spectacular, no band could fail to swing with him in the chair.
This could be your jazz big band CD of 2003/4 . I have copies in the UK*