208

Bill O'Connell's Chicago Skyliners Big Band: Big Bands Greatest Hits

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
This is the kind of album, says drummer Bill O'Connell, that his Chicago Skyliners must release from time to time to induce the paying gigs that help keep the ensemble together. But even though the songs on Big Bands Greatest Hits are for the most part Swing Era classics, the charts have been lovingly renovated by such contemporary craftsmen as Sammy Nestico, Tom Kubis, Oliver Nelson, Don Sebesky, Dave Wolpe and others, and the Skyliners dig into them with vigor and enthusiasm. As a result, the finished product sounds closer to Clayton""Hamilton, Maynard Ferguson or latter""day Woody Herman than to such swinging precursors as Basie, Ellington, Lunceford, Sy Oliver, Glenn Miller, the Dorsey brothers, Shaw or Goodman, to name but a few. Perhaps the closest the Skyliners come to mimicry is Dave Lowden's celebrated arrangement for Basie of "April in Paris, but O'Connell can't resist tossing another curve by altering the familiar "one more time ending. The leader gets to play Gene Krupa (to Bill Horn's Goodman) on Louis Prima's "Sing Sing Sing, which raised the King of Swing to the top of the big""band ladder in '38, and anchors a potent rhythm section (pianist Reid Spears, bassist Steve Hashimoto) on every number from Joe Garland's "In the Mood (rearranged by Jeff Tyzik) to Billy Strayhorn's "Take the 'A' Train (updated by Don Sebesky). There are vocals by Byron Woods on "Alright, Okay, You Win and "Fly Me to the Moon and a number of enterprising solos, especially by Horn (mostly on alto), tenors Bob Frankich and Frank Catalano, trumpeters Jim Peterson and Terry Connell, Spears and trombonist Mike Joyce. The terrain is well""traveled, that's true, but mapped in a fresh and inventive way by O'Connell's intrepid Skyliners. And like the era they so happily salute, they do swing.

Contact:Blue Birdland Records, 915 Christa Court, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007; phone 847""352""2455. web site, http://members.aol.com/ChiSkyBB (also available from Kendor, Marina Music and Otter Distributors).


Track Listing: In the Mood; Things Ain?t What They Used to Be; Mack the Knife; Who Can I Turn To?; Begin the Beguine; In a Mellow Tone; Stardust; Which Craft; Alright, Okay, You Win; Fly Me to the Moon; Shiny Stockings; April in Paris; Opus One; A String of Pearls; Sing Sing Sing; Take the ?A? Train (64:56).

Personnel: Bill O?Connell, leader, drums; Bill Horn, alto sax, flute; Jon Irabagon, alto sax; Bob Frankich, Frank Catalano, tenor sax; Chip Gdalman, baritone sax; Mike Joyce, Tom Stark, Rich Latka, Matt McDonald, Rich Moss, trombone; Brad Payne, bass trombone; Terry Connell, Jim Peterson, B.J. Levy, Ben Clark, trumpet; Reid Spears, piano; Steve Hashimoto, bass; Byron Woods, vocals.

Title: Big Bands Greatest Hits | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Blue Birdland Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Hide Ye Idols CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Spavati, Mozda Sanjati CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Like Songs Like Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Like Songs Like Moons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 13, 2017
Read "Sunrain" CD/LP/Track Review Sunrain
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts" CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "The AV Club" CD/LP/Track Review The AV Club
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "All You Gotta Do" CD/LP/Track Review All You Gotta Do
by Doug Collette
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Sounding Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 16, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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

Please support out sponsor