Dave Slonaker Big Band

Convergency

origin 82851

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Lance Liddle, BeBop Spoken Here

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One of the best big band albums I've heard in many a long day's listening. Convergency gives me the same kick that I got from when I first heard the big bands of Boyd Raeburn, Stan Kenton, Dizzy, Woody, Gil, Thad and Mel and yes, even the great Ms Schneider. Slonaker is up there with them.

The big band era as it once was may be gone inasmuch as large ensembles no longer criss-cross America playing one-nighters, riding in band buses that wouldn't have passed an MOT test even if there had been one back then whilst their leaders rode ahead in Lincolns, Fords, Chevys and Cadillacs.

However, in many ways the current big band scene is better than ever and the musicianship is even higher. No appeasing the song pluggers with hit parade covers or singers sitting at the side of the stage, forlornly smiling, awaiting the call.

No, today's big band scene is, with the exception of those classic Basie, Ellington, moments better than it has ever been. Maria Schneider, JLCO, Ed Palermo, Gordon Goodwin and many others are keeping the flag flying and none more so than Dave Slonaker.

Slonaker began his musical journey on a beat-up hand me down trombone, progressing to his present status as an in-demand Hollywood composer and arranger who provided the soundtrack for many films and tv shows.
A glance at the jaw-dropping names listed in the personnel was enough to tell me that this wasn't going to be heading for the Easy Listening section although, if you like your large jazz ensembles to be adventurous and exciting whilst still swinging this is very easy to listen to. Ten tracks, nine originals and one standard - I Had the Craziest Dream - a beautiful feature for Bergeron that rounds off one of the best big band albums I've heard in many a long day's listening.

Convergency gives me the same kick that I got from when I first heard the big bands of Boyd Raeburn, Stan Kenton, Dizzy, Woody, Gil, Thad and Mel and yes, even the great Ms Schneider. Slonaker is up there with them.








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