210

The Pratt Brothers Big Band Featuring Roberta Gambarini: 16 Men & a Chick Singer Swingin'

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Pratt Brothers Big Band Featuring Roberta Gambarini: 16 Men & a Chick Singer Swingin' I could endorse the Pratt Brothers' second album on the basis of Dean Pratt's candid and incisive liner notes alone, but entertaining and provocative as they are, the music is even better, encompassing half a dozen persuasive instrumentals and four superb vocals by the outrageously talented Roberta Gambarini.

As far as the ensemble is concerned, the album title says it all—mama don't 'low no ballads 'round here. This is a smoking, straight-ahead, Basie-style firestorm from end to end, including three blistering charts by one of the Count's most celebrated arrangers, Ernie Wilkins. "When Your Lover Has Gone, usually a mournful lament, is cleverly accelerated in a dazzling chart written by Don Piestrup for (but never recorded by) the Buddy Rich band. The closest the brothers come to slowing the tempo is on Wilkins' amiable treatment of Rodgers and Hart's "Falling in Love with Love.

Gambarini, a native of Torino, Italy, who was a finalist seven years ago in the Thelonious Monk vocal competition, is not only blessed with remarkable range and flawless enunciation, she actually understands what she is singing, warmly and naturally conveying the lyrics on two memorable standards, Hoagy Carmichael's "Skylark and Brooks Bowman's "East of the Sun, and bracing originals by Tom McIntosh/Meredith D'Ambrosio ("Cup of Life ) and Kenny Dorham ("Fair Weather ). She scats well too, even pausing playfully to revisit "Poinciana on the coda to "East of the Sun.

The opener, "Big Bad Basie, based on two of Wilkins' compositions, "Big Bad Band for Clark Terry and "Basie Power for the Count, lends new meaning to the term "warp speed. The volcanic solos are by pianist Ronnie Mathews, Dean Pratt on muted trumpet, tenors Mike Karn and Willie Williams, and drummer Michael Pratt. The lovely "Skylark is followed by Frank Wess' breezy "Waterjug (solos by trombonists Scott Whitfield and Rick Stepton, bass trombonist Wayne Coniglio and trumpeter Joe Mosello), "Cup of Life, and Hank Mobley's cheerful "Old World New Imports featuring Mathews, Dean Pratt (again muted), baritone Dave Schumacher, bassist Chip Jackson and Michael Pratt.

Coniglio and trumpeter Don Sickler are out front on "Falling in Love with Love, Stepton, Williams and alto Marc Phaneuf on "When Your Lover Has Gone. Following "East of the Sun, the band wraps the package with Wilkins' suitably named "Sixteen Men Swinging, which embodies sturdy solos by Karn, Whitfield and each of the Pratt brothers.

One can't always trust advertising in these days of super-hype, but there are times—such as this—when what you see (or in this case, hear) is what you get, namely 16 Men & a Chick Singer Swingin'.

Track Listing: Big Bad Basie; Skylark; Waterjug; Cup of Life; Old World New Imports; Falling in Love with Love; Fair Weather; When Your Lover Has Gone; East of the Sun; Sixteen Men Swinging (58:22).

Personnel: Dean Pratt, trumpet, Michael Pratt, drums, co-leaders; Joe Mosello, Danny Cahn, Ross Konikoff, Don Sickler, trumpet; Alan Gauvin, Marc Phaneuf, alto sax; Mike Karn, Willie Williams, tenor sax; Dave Schumacher, baritone sax; Scott Whitfield, Rick Stepton, trombone; Wayne Coniglio, bass trombone; Ronnie Mathews, piano; Chip Jackson, Ben Rubin (10), bass; Roberta Gambarini, vocals.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: CAP | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Hearts & Minds" CD/LP/Track Review Hearts & Minds
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "Invisible Man" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Man
by Anthony Shaw
Published: June 2, 2016
Read "Mingus, Mingus, Mingus" CD/LP/Track Review Mingus, Mingus, Mingus
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by John Sharpe
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Salt Task" CD/LP/Track Review Salt Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!