Pool Jazz, recorded in a studio in 1993–94, is also fashioned for the most part around the tried and true, with songs by Basie, Ellington/Tizol, Nestico, Rodgers & Hart, Jerome Kern/Dorothy Fields, Billy Strayhorn, Porter’s “Begin the Beguine” and an instrumental version of “I Get a Kick Out of You.” The vocals this time are by Ehrmann (“The Way You Look Tonight”), Tina Häussermann (“My Funny Valentine”), Markus Schmid (“The Lady Is a Tramp”) and Dorothee Lorenz (“Every Day I Have the Blues”). Again, English (and Jazz phrasing) prove to be their most formidable adversaries. The band does the best it can, and is better recorded here than in concert, but ensemble passages are often out of synch (as they are on Potato Jazz as well), while solos are rudimentary and unconvincing. Comparing ACO to what a listener might experience here at home, the over–all skill level is roughly akin to late high school or perhaps early college — certainly no higher. Nevertheless, as we remarked earlier, the band is fun to hear, and is doing what it can to help keep big–band music alive and swinging. There’s nothing unkind one can say about that, and these young musicians can only become more adept with the passage of time. Hats off to ACO, another oasis in an ever–expanding desert of “junk–food music.”
Track listing: Potato Jazz — Eine Kartoffel; Feelin’ Free; Spain; Don’t Get Around Much Anymore; Killer Joe; I Get a Kick Out of You; Sing, Sing, Sing; Ain’t Misbehavin’; Everybody’s Everything; Fly Me to the Moon; Have You Met Miss Jones?; Tribute to the World; New York, New York; Li’l Darlin’ (54:09). Pool Jazz — Basie, Straight Ahead; Perdido; My Funny Valentine; Pennsylvania 6–5000; Hay Burner; The Lady Is a Tramp; I Get a Kick Out of You; Ev’ry Day I Have the Blues; Begin the Beguine; The Way You Look Tonight; The Heat’s On; All of Me; Two Timin’; Take the “A” Train (44:29).
Record Label: Chaos
Style: Big Band
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