While listening to the Norman/McCarthy Big Band's remarkable debut album, Words Cannot Express, one's thoughts are drawn inescapably toward another enormously impressive ensemble, the Mark Taylor/Steve Fidyk Big Band--and for a number of sound reasons.
Not only are both bands based in the Washington, DC area, both are co-led by a drummer (McCarthy, Fidyk), boast a superlative composer/arranger (Norman, Taylor), are well-stocked with talented sidemen from nearby Army, Air Force and Navy bases, devote much of their time and energy to persuasive original compositions and, most importantly, swing unsparingly regardless of framework or tempo.
There are differences, of course. One ...read more
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