Recording his second album of contemporary straight-ahead blistering big band music, Composer/arranger Phil Kelly's My Museum swings with a swagger, sophistication and style that blows you away with some very powerful musical winds. His previous release, Convergence Zone, was recorded with a group of Seattle-based area musicians in a big band he called The NW Prevailing Winds. Now residing in Bellingham, Washington, just North of Seattle, Kelly traveled South to LA and formed another new band made up of the finest LA studio/jazz musicians. The result was the creation of the new SW Santa Ana Winds big band boasting a personnel list of LA jazz legends.
The reed section includes alto saxophonists Lanny Morgan and Gary Foster, tenor greats, Pete Christlieb and Brian Scanlon and baritone Bill Ramsey. Other big names gracing this recording are pianist Bill Cunliffe, trumpeter Wayne Bergeron, guitarist Grant Geissman and trombonists Andy Martin and Charlie Morillas.
The album opens up with the lively upbeat "Jennine," a fantastic big band chart with a howling woodwind arrangement by Kelly. This is followed up by nine minutes of some soft blues in the Kelly original "Bluelonius." There are a few splendid jazz standards worth mentioning and they include Duke Ellington's "Daydream" and the immortal jazz classic "Body and Soul."
The title track, "My Museum" is an absolutely beautiful slow ballad containing the only vocals here provided by Greta Matassa and supported by a full string section adding that symphonic feel to the music. Rounding out the program is the delicious "It's A Lazy Afternoon," and the loud and boisterous finale "Zip Code 2005."
The howling winds from the prevailing NW managed to descend Southward to LA for one stormy session of excellent big band jazz with My Museum. One windy album sure to lift you off your feet.