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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band: Act Your Age

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Band leader, composer and instrumentalist Gordon Goodwin takes his 18-piece Big Phat Band to another level, producing a rare CD/DVD set and garnishing a heap of praise from critics and the Grammy folks alike. Act Your Age is one heck of an album, having received three 2008 Grammy nominations for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, Best Instrumental Composition (Goodwin's “Hit The Ground Running"), and Best Instrumental Arrangement (Goodwin's arrangement of “Yesterdays"). This makes for a total of 11 nominations, and one overall win for Goodwin since 2000, when he began recording with the Big Phat Band. Already ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band: The Phat Pack

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The suave and irrepressible Rat Pack, whose urbane image was shrewdly nurtured for so many years by Ol' Blue Eyes, meistersinger Frank Sinatra himself, is no longer with us. Luckily, we have as partial solace The Phat Pack, the convivial third recording by jack-of-all-trades Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. Goodwin bows respectfully to his illustrious predecessors by reprising two songs closely associated with members of the Rodent Gang, Sinatra's “It Was a Very Good Year" and Sammy Davis Jr.'s “Too Close for Comfort," also appending an evocative title song that could have served as the Pack's overture in a cabaret ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band: XXL

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We still have a few weeks before he hear Auld Lang Syne, but I'm going to vote early. I hold in my hands the Album of the Year.

XXL is the Big Phat Band's second album. Its first, Swingin' For the Fences, was nominated for two Grammys two years ago. Composer/arranger Gordon Goodwin has won three Emmys for his work on cartoons. He formed the band as a studio unit, but it now performs twice a month in the Los Angeles area.

XXL features a number of guests. Johnny Mathis stops the show on (no kidding) “Let the Good Times ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band: Swingin' for the Fences

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To carry the baseball metaphor a step further, the hard–hitting Big Phat Band not only swings for the fences on skipper Gordon Goodwin’s dynamic new album, it slams almost every fastball or curve thrown its way well beyond the fence and out of the park. And even when the ensemble misses, it does so by no more than a whisker. From this vantage point the first eight tracks are towering home runs, while the last two are solidly struck triples that barely miss clearing the center–field wall (others may deem them round–trippers as well). The charts, all of which are ...



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