126

Main Stream Power Band: A Date with Swing

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
With swing making a mini–comeback in the States and abroad, here’s a high–quality band from Germany that powers its way through no less than 24 well–crafted charts that should have most lovers of swing on their feet and dancing before you can say “Tommy Dorsey.” While many of the songs on the band’s second release, A Date with Swing, are relatively unknown, there are four by Neal Hefti, three of which (“Whirlybird,” “Cute,” “Pony Tail”) are from the Basie book; a couple of seldom–heard Ellington tunes (“Oh! Babe Maybe Someday,” “Scattin’ at the Kit Kat”); one composition each by Benny Goodman (“Music Hall Rag”), Sy Oliver/Jimmie Lunceford (“Stomp It Off”) and Artie Shaw (“Scuttlebutt”), and the standard “Back Home Again in Indiana.” The band’s director, Heinz Schönberger, wrote four others, “A Date with Swing,” “Trombones Preferred,” “Swing Is in the Air” and “Road to Swing,” and they are among the more seductive items on a consistently admirable program. “Whirlybird,” of course, is a litmus test for any saxophone section, and the Power Band’s reeds fare quite well both here and elsewhere. At 4:07, “Whirlybird” is also the longest track on the disc, with most selections more than three but less than four minutes long. While most numbers boast one or more brief but effective solos (including several by Schönberger on clarinet), and splendid work by drummer Kurt Bong and the rhythm section, the emphasis is on the ensemble, and it never fails to please (although a couple of the charts, such as “Indiana,” for example, lean toward lackluster). These, however, are exceptions to the rule, and the greater part of the Power Band’s repertoire is earnest and rewarding. A benchmark by which to measure the proficiency of other contemporary swing bands.

Track listing: Since My Best Girl Turned Me Down; A Date with Swing; Mayfair Swing; Oh! Babe Maybe Someday; Gentle Move; Whirly Bird; You’re a Heavenly Thing; Big Ben Bounce; Indiana; Trombones Preferred; Cute; Music Hall Rag; Swing Is in the Air; Pony Tail; Lover’s Leap; Alexander’s Playmobil; Scattin’ at the Kit Kat; Clap Your Hands; Stomp It Off; Scuttlebutt; Road to Swing; March of the Commanders; Highway Boogie; On the Verge (78:12).


Personnel:

Heinz Sch

Title: A Date with Swing | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Montpellier


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read A Night Walking Through Mirrors CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jondo CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jazz Flute Traditions CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Flute Traditions
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Nerve Dance CD/LP/Track Review Nerve Dance
by John Sharpe
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Unspoken" CD/LP/Track Review Unspoken
by Andrew Luhn
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Moving Still" CD/LP/Track Review Moving Still
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "New Jazz Standards, Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review New Jazz Standards, Volume 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "Moving Still" CD/LP/Track Review Moving Still
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Skarkali" CD/LP/Track Review Skarkali
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Heads & Tales Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Heads & Tales Volume 2
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 28, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.