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Nikos Chatzitsakos: Tiny Big Band 2


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Nikos Chatzitsakos: Tiny Big Band 2
Cleaving to the premise that one Tiny Big Band deserves another, bassist Nikos Chatzitsakos is back with Tiny Big Band 2, the second album by his feisty nonet and a follow-up to the well-received Tiny Big Band! (self-produced), recorded in 2022.

This time, Chatzitsakos uses two vocalists instead of one, rotating them on half of the album's eight tracks, and brings back only three of the earlier album's instrumentalists, plus himself. The returnees are cornetist Robert Mac Vega-Dowda, tenor saxophonist Art Baden and baritone Gabriel Nekrutman. As before, Chatzitsakos' choice of material is strong, as are his colorful arrangements.

Alexandria DeWalt sings on Cole Porter's "Get Out of Town" and Rodgers and Hart's "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," Eleni Ermina Sofou on a second Rodgers and Hart gem, "Where Or When," and Michel Legrand's "The Windmills of Your Mind." While there's not much to choose between them, the word that seems most appropriate to summarize the four vocals is "passable."

Among the instrumentals, best in show is Donald Byrd's light-hearted "Fly Little Bird Fly," on which the ensemble spreads its collective wings behind trim solos by pianist Wilfie Williams, alto Salim Charvet, trumpeter Joey Curreri and drummer Samuel Bolduc. The nonet opens with the standard "All or Nothing At All," closes with Antonio Carlos Jobim's sultry "Fotografia" and warmly embraces Duke Pearson's even-tempered ballad, "You Know I Care." Chatzitsakos solos on that number, as he does on "Fotografia."

Trombonist Armando Vergara solos twice, Nekrutman only once, but they make the most of their chances, Vergara on "Where or When" and "You Know I Care," Nekrutman on "I Didn't Know What Time It Was." While the other soloists are by and large respectable—but seldom more than that—Williams is impressive on "All or Nothing," "Fotografia" and especially "Fly Little Bird." Another better-than-average session by Chatzitsako's Tiny Big Band, even though a step or two behind its debut, owing for the most part to a surplus of vocals (two per album is more than enough) and some solos that don't quite gel. Still and all, more than enough bright moments for a favorable assessment.

Track Listing

All or Nothing at All; Get Out of Town; Fly Little Bird Fly; Where or When; I Didn’t Know What Time It Is; You Know I Care; The Windmills of Your Mind; Fotografia.


Nikos Chatzitsakos
bass, acoustic
Joey Curreri
Salim Charvet
saxophone, alto
Art Baden
saxophone, tenor
Gabriel Nekrutman
saxophone, baritone

Album information

Title: Tiny Big Band 2 | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Self Produced



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