How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Bandleader Harry Goldson’s second release on Weatherbird is much like the first — Jazz–inflected dance music from the popular songbook, sometimes with strings, played in the manner of Ray Anthony, the Elgart brothers or Ted Heath. A second constant is the presence of some of Southern California’s finest studio and session players who give music director Pat Longo and arrangers Gordon Brisker, Lon Norman and Gary Urwin ample reason to smile. In other words, the music does indeed Swing, Swing, Swing — at least, as much as can be expected under the circumstances, and there are splendid solos aong the way by the likes of Lanny Morgan, Les Benedict, Ron Barrows, Rusty Higgins, Brian O’Rourke, Dave Johnson, George Graham, Terry Harrington and Wayne Bergeron, all well–respected names on the West Coast big–band scene. Goldson’s clarinet, more akin to Artie Shaw than Woody Herman, is heard throughout, while Longo unlimbers his alto sax on Andre Previn’s “Second Chance.” The rhythm section, anchored by veteran dummer Frank Capp, cooks with the poise and know–how of a master chef. Silken–voiced Jeanne Pisano sings on “Tenderly” and “It’s D’Lovely.” There are a few strategically placed burners — “Ridin’ High,” “Chicago,” Basie’s “Two O’Clock Jump” — but no hair–raising surprises. It is, however, wonderful music, and within the confines of what is essentially a program of music designed for dancing or relaxing, you’re unlikely to hear it played any better.
Track listing: Little Street in Singapore; A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square/A Foggy Day; I’m Glad There Is You; Ridin’ High; Tenderly; Night and Day; Take Five; I Thought About You; Second Chance; Danny Boy; Chicago; Angel Eyes; It’s D’Lovely; Stella by Starlight; Two O’Clock Jump (52:21).
Harry Goldson, leader, clarinet; Pat Longo, alto sax; Lanny Morgan, alto, soprano saxes, clarinet, flute; Ray Reed, alto sax, clarinet, flute; Terry Harrington, Rusty Higgins, tenor sax, clarinet, flute; Jack Nimitz, baritone sax, clarinet, flute, bass clarinet; George Graham, Frank Szabo, Wayne Bergeron, Ron Barrows, David Trigg, trumpet. flugelhorn; Bill Tole, Les Benedict, Ira Nepus, Don Waldrop, Andy Martin, trombone; Paul Loredo, Mark Adams, John Dickson, French horn; Brian O