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Ed Puddick Big Band: Guys and Dolls (2010)

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Ed Puddick Big Band: Guys and Dolls How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

In the hands of the twenty-something bandleader and arranger Ed Puddick and his equally young, London-based seventeen-piece ensemble, Frank Loesser's classic Broadway score joins the ranks of those which have been adapted for big band (Stan Kenton
Stan Kenton
Stan Kenton
1911 - 1979
piano
's West Side Story, Les Brown
Les Brown
Les Brown
1912 - 2001
composer/conductor
's South Pacific, and Ted Heath
Ted Heath
b.1900
's The Sound of Music all come to mind). Puddick's writing combines the lush voicings of Gil Evans
Gil Evans
Gil Evans
1912 - 1988
composer/conductor
' arrangements for the late 1940s Claude Thornhill
Claude Thornhill
Claude Thornhill
1909 - 1965
vocalist
band with Bill Holman
Bill Holman
Bill Holman
b.1927
sax, tenor
's linear counterpoint, Shorty Rogers
Shorty Rogers
Shorty Rogers
1924 - 1994
trumpet
' Basie-inspired swing, and the humorous whimsy of Billy May
Billy May
Billy May
1916 - 2004
composer/conductor
, providing settings which Loesser (the centennial of whose birth was celebrated in 2010) would have undoubtedly approved.

The opening "Fugue for Tinhorns" is actually a canon featuring the entire trumpet section in the roles of the three horse-bookies. "Follow the Fold" begins with a solemn evocation of a Salvation Army band by the French horn and trombones, interrupted by the plunger trumpet of Andy Gathercole, which then leads to a swinging section reminiscent of 1930's Benny Goodman, punctuated by solos from trombonist Simon Walker, guitarist Chris Allard, and altoist Matt Wates. Jim Rattigan, one of the premier jazz stylists on French horn since the late John Graas
John Graas
John Graas
b.1924
and Julius Watkins
Julius Watkins
Julius Watkins
1921 - 1977
french horn
, takes the helm on the ballad "I'll Know," with gorgeous sax accompaniment.

"Pet Me, Poppa," "Adelaide," and "A Woman In Love," were all composed for the 1955 film version of Guys and Dolls. "Pet Me, Poppa" includes a rap by the reed section and an exchange between altoist Mark Hanslip and trombonist Mike Feltham à la the reunited Dorsey Brothers ensemble of the '50s. "Adelaide," which was sung by Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
1915 - 1998
vocalist
in the film, appears in funky, polytonal dress with Allard's Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
b.1945
guitar
-inspired guitar, Claire McInerney's baritone sax, and Noel Langley's flugelhorn. Puddick casts "A Woman In Love" in a bossa nova rhythm, once again spotlighting Rattigan's horn, assisted by Hanslip and Allard.

The title track is the most May-oriented arrangement, featuring xylophonist Bethan Jones, Wates, McInerney, Walker, Allard, and bassist Tom Farmer. "Adelaide's Lament" opens with a reminiscence of Evans' classic chart of Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez," for Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
, before shifting gears into a feature for McInerney's bass clarinet. "If I Were a Bell" also commences with a Davis/Evans-inspired chorus headlined by Gathercole on flugel, but then kicks into a Basie-esque groove. "Luck Be a Lady" is introduced by a blues chorus from trumpeter Percy Pursglove, followed by Wates' fiery alto on the tune's changes.

A jaunty, march-like tempo characterizes "Sue Me," leading into a reggae-flavored "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" (which Loesser originally conceived in a pseudo-gospel vein), featuring drummer Richard Barr in his lone solo, along with trombonist Feltham, guitarist Allard, and bass clarinetist McInerney. The finale ultimo is a straight-ahead reprise of the title song in all-out Basie-meets-Evans style.

Track Listing: Fugue for Tinhorns; Follow the Fold; The Oldest Established...; I'll Know; Pet Me, Poppa; Adelaide's Lament; Guys and Dolls; Adelaide; If I Were a Bell; A Woman In Love; Take Back Your Mink; Luck Be a Lady; Sue Me/Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat.

Personnel: Ed Puddick: leader: arranger, trombone; Chris Allard: guitar; Tom Farmer: bass; Richard Barr: drums; Bethan Jones: xylophone, marimba; Andy Gathercole: trumpet, flugelhorn; Noel Langley: trumpet, flugelhorn; Percy Pursglove: trumpet: flugelhorn; Mike Feltham, trombone; Simon Walker, trombone; Alan Hardiman: bass trombone; Jim Rattigan: French horn; Mark Hanslip: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet; Matt Wates: alto saxophone, flute, clarinet; Robin Fincker: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Claire McInerney: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet.

Record Label: Diving Duck Recordings


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