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Andy Farber and His Orchestra: This Could Be the Start of Something Big (2010)

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Andy Farber and His Orchestra: This Could Be the Start of Something Big How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

It's like strutting down memory lane. Andy Farber and His Orchestra present 14 big band pieces with This Could Be the Start of Something Big.

A product of Long Island, Farber grew up listening to Art Blakey
Art Blakey
Art Blakey
1919 - 1990
drums
and Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
. He began attending jazz workshops at the age of 10 and developed into a multifaceted woodwinds player. On this outing, he plays alto, tenor and baritone saxophones and flute. The ensemble features a full-size horn section and a few guests, including vocalist Jon Hendricks
Jon Hendricks
Jon Hendricks
b.1921
vocalist
.

"Bombers" is an appropriate opening selection. It was composed as a tribute to Count Basie
Count Basie
Count Basie
1904 - 1984
piano
, whose band often played baseball, with one of the teams known as the Bombers. The title is unintentionally reminiscent of World War II, a period when the musical style represented throughout this collection was popular. The piece features a throaty trombone solo by Harvey Tibbs and a muted trumpet by Kenny Rampton.

Hendricks and his backup singers, Aria Hendricks and Kevin Burke, join the band for the title song, a lively arrangement of Steve Allen's "This Could Be the Start of Something Big." Hendricks lends his trademark scat to the middle break, while Farber solos on baritone sax. Jennifer Vincent's bass line also stands out.

Hendricks also contributes to "Roll 'em Pete," his auctioneer-styled vocal complementing Farber's tenor sax, whether he's singing lyrics or scatting. The band also delivers on Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
's "52nd Street Theme," with solos by Rampton and alto saxophonist Jay Brandford.

This Could Be the Start of Something Big has a few solos, but it's mostly about the entire band. Regardless of which instrument has the lead, the other players are deeply involved. Big band music has evolved over the decades, but this package recaptures the spirit of bands led by Basie, Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
1899 - 1974
piano
and others during the 1930s and '40s.

Track Listing: Bombers; Space Suit; Body & Soul; This Could Be the Start of Something Big; It Is What It Is; Broadway; Roll 'em Pete; Midnight, the Stars & You; 52nd Street Theme; Short Yarn; The Man I Love; High Anxiety; Jack the Bellboy; Seems Like Old Times.

Personnel: Andy Farber: alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flute; Chuck Wilson: alto sax; Jay Brandford: alto sax; Dan Block: tenor sax, clarinet; Marc Phanenf: tenor sax; Kurt Bacher: baritone sax; Brian Pareschi: trumpet; Kenny Rampton: trumpet; Irv Grossman: trumpet; Alex Norris: trumpet; Art Baron: trombone; Wayne Goodman: trombone; Harvey Tibbs: trombone; Max Seigel: bass trombone; Bob Grillo: guitar; Kenny Ascher: piano; Jennifer Vincent: bass; Alvester Garnett: drums; Mark Sherman: vibraphone (8); Jon Hendricks: vocals (4, 7); Jerry Dodgion: alto sax (6); Aria Hendricks: vocals (4, 7); Kevin Fitzgerald Burke: vocals (4, 7).

Record Label: Black Warrior

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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