This respectable (though not exactly essential) big band session was organized by Chubby Jackson, a very versatile bassist who paid his dues with various editions of the Woody Herman big band from the '40s on. This album gathered a number of former Woody Herman alumni, essentially many of the same players who appeared on The Herd Rides Again.
Everyone plays precisely and powerfully, but the arrangements seem corny and dated for the most part. If not for the pleasures of hearing Bob Brookmeyer and Al Cohn solo, and they have been featured in more apt showcases than this blockbuster "Let's bring back the big bands and teach rock and roll-adoring kids real music" mish mosh, I would just as soon listen to second-rate Duke or Basie of the same vintage (1958).
As with other remastering jobs on the resurrected Everest label, the horns sound brittle and bright enough to knock your fillings out. Nat Hentoff's liner notes showcase Chubby (think about the fact that this is a musical contemporary of Chubby Checker) Jackson claiming that his music may help kids kick the rock and roll habit. Hentoff also makes much ado about nada by hyping Don Lamond's drum solo on "Loch Lamond," which sounds to me like a cubist sound collage crafted by splicing a number of Gene Krupa's worst solos into a loop.
In addition to the pleasures of the Brookmeyer and Cohn solos, it should be noted that Sam Most, now an obscure flautist, plays quite handsomely. Too bad that Sam Most LPs were rarely transferred to CD. These musicians make Chubby Takes Over a decent listenas long as you skip the blandest take on "When the Saints Go Marching In" since Lawrence Welk discovered how to do a secular version.
Track Listing: Loch Lamond; Blowin' Up A Storm; A Ballad for Jai; When the Saints Go Marching In; Oh
Look at Me Now; Mt. Everest; Yes Indeed, It's Delovely; Cover the Earth With Your
Loveliness, Alexander's Ragtime Band; Woodshed; Hail, Hail, The Herd's All Here.
Personnel: Chubby Jackson, Ernie Royal, Bob Brookmeyer, Al Cohn, Pete Mondello, Sam Most, Don
Lamond, Marty Napoleon, and others.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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