Phil Kelly

Ballet of the Bouncing Beagles

origin 82549

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Kyle O'Brien, Jazz Society of Oregon

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The Northwest doesn't have a lot of big bands, so this group that composer/arranger Kelly has pulled together is a welcome sound for our little corner of the universe. Who cares that half the players are from elsewhere? Bellingham resident Kelly has enlisted some L.A. and New York cats, like saxophonists Jerry Dodgion and Pete Christlieb, and Dallas players Randy Lee and Pete Brewer. Throw in Portland drummer Gary Hobbs, noted Seattle trumpeter Jay Thomas, and guitarist Grant Geissman, and you have a powerhouse big band. Let's not forget Portland bassist Dave Captein, who holds down the bottom end and brings together these huge horns. Kelly has them swing with abandon on the classic "Limehouse Blues," then takes them down to New Orleans with the street beat of "Ewe Doo on Bubbas Shoux." The sound is big and lively, thanks to Kelly's firm hand as conductor, though at times it sounds like a studio group - a bit too refined. Still, when he pulls out the Latin rhythms, on "Estos Frijoles Causa Me Falta Pasar A Los Vientos," with horn punches and a great batch of solos, it's a joy to listen to.








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