Gerald Kuhn: The Rat on My Piano (2002)
For The Rat On My Piano, Gerald Kuhn has gathered an assembly of musicians curiously termed the Eclectrophonics Jazz Ensemble. These players have applied their varied styles and talents to music played in the manner of the 1950's and thereafter, from swing to pop to funk. This disc was recorded in California with tons of overdubbing, including the imaginative, melodic trombone of Kuhn laid down behind the syncopated beat of the leader and his cohorts. The upshot of it all are some tuneful experiences, none of which will leave lasting musical memories either with the performers or the listeners. There is plenty of room for improvisation, such as on the group's rendering of "Phil's Request". And there are some entertaining vocal solos by Kayre Morrison. But most of all, the music is sufficiently unobtrusive that it will not get anyone very excited.
There's nothing window shattering here, just pleasant arrangements of standards played by your slightly above average big band. Have fun. What the rat has got to do with all of this is a bit beyond me. Check out more about this eclectic group at www.nuketownmusic.com
Track Listing: Unsettled; I've Got the World on a String; Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered; 7 & 2; Watermelon Man; Forgotten Memories; The Rat on My Piano; Nice Work If You Can Get It; Willow Weep for Me; Denise; Sidewinder; Let There Be Love; Close; Phil's Request; Hello Young Lovers
Personnel: The Eclectrophonics Jazz Ensemble (made of up a large number of session musicians).
Record Label: Nuketown