Back in the ?60s, Dick Reynolds was the house pianist at Mr. Kelly?s, Chicago's famous Rush Street club where stars like Sarah Vaughan and held forth. He also was a king of the commercial jingles jungle. Reynolds has been in retirement since 1996, but he doesn?t sound retiring on Music and Friends, a lively, impeccably arranged big band effort whose original compositions range effortlessly from swing to Latin to funk.
With its gathering of standout Windy City players, the album feels like old home week. The soloists include harmonica ace Howard Levy, alto saxophonist Mike Smith and trumpeter Victor Garcia, with a rhythm section that reunites longtime bass and drum partners Kelly Sill and Joel Spencer.