Kluvers Big Band: Silver Street / Tribute to Duke / Better Believe It
So, too, is Tribute to Duke, recorded in 1999 to mark the hundredth anniversary of that transcendent composer’s birth. After opening with Don Sebesky’s brightly rocking arrangement of Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the ‘A’ Train,” the band surveys Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady” and “Main Stem” and Strayhorn’s “After All,” each one marvelously scored by the KBB’s chief arranger, Springfield. Another American, Bill Dobbins, former head of the Jazz department at the Eastman School of Music, arranged the three–part Tribute to Duke (“Love You Madly,” “Come Sunday,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing”) and the spirited finale, Ellington’s “Take the Coltrane.” Herring, a disciple of Bird and Cannonball who has developed his own persuasive voice, solos on every number, alone on four and with pianist Iversen, guitarist Addemos and trumpeter Lars Schuster (“‘A’ Train”), Addemos and trombonist Nikolai Pedersen (“Main Stem”), Addemos again (“It Don’t Mean a Thing”), drummer Lund and fiery tenor Michael Bladt (“Take the Coltrane”). As on Silver Street, the KBB shows that it can run stride for stride with the most enterprising big bands Europe and North America (not to mention Japan) have to offer. The rhythm section (Iversen, Jefsen, Addemos, Lund, percussionist Steen Råhauge) is especially impressive. Another keeper.
Stripling, invited to play and sing on Better Believe It to help the band mark the centenary of legendary trumpeter Louis Armstrong’s birth, takes full advantage of the occasion, singing on seven of the album’s eleven tracks, scatting (quite well, actually) and presenting a clever but overlong version of Clark Terry’s “mumbles” on Dizzy Gillespie’s swinging novelty tune, “Ooo–pa–pa–da.” Stripling is more entertainer than accomplished singer; he sounds nothing like Armstrong but half–“talks” his vocals, as did Louis, with occasional nods toward Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, Louis Prima, Al Hibbler, Jay McShann and others. The instrumentals, on each of which Stripling solos on trumpet, are the Basie–like “Better Believe It,” arranger Vaughn Wiester’s syncopated treatment of “Indiana” and Butch Lacy’s earnest “Prayer for Pops,” which ends the concert. Again, the KBB’s soloists aren’t heard often but make emphatic statements when they are. They include tenor Bladt and pianist Iversen (“Better Believe It”), trombonist Pedersen (“Tired of Pretty Women,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”), Iversen again (“Dinah”), Bladt and alto “Chappe” Jensen (“Ooo–pa–pa–da”). Mackrel, meanwhile, enhances the ensemble’s already potent rhythm section, adding zest to a largely entertaining concert that is best appreciated by those who consider singing an important part of the big–band experience.
Contact:Klüvers Big Band, Karetmagergaarden, Graven 25, Denmark 80000. Phone +45 86 20 16 88; e–mail email@example.com; web site, www.cdjazz.com
Track Listing: Silver Street
Personnel: Silver Street
Style: Big Band