Dave Siebels: Dave Siebels with Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band

Woodrow Wilkins By

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There is the big band that has horns, piano, drums, and bass—electric guitar, optional. There is the Hammond B3 organ. Where you have both, you have an inferno of music.

Organist Dave Siebels has scored nine television series and 35 films, produced 27 albums, and conducted 65 musical variety shows. His performance and recording history includes work with jazz and blues greats like Joe Williams and B.B. King, as well as other artists, such as Rita Coolidge, Ray Charles, Rick Springfield, and Debby Boone. Dave Siebels with Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band pairs the organist with an ensemble that includes Goodwin on piano, and several accomplished session players who have also led their own bands, including alto saxophonist Eric Marienthal and guitarist Grant Geissman.

"Da Blues," one of seven Siebels originals, begins as a walk in the park. The organ is underscored softly by a muted trumpet, Rick Shaw's bass, and Bernie Dresel's drums. Organ and trumpet share the lighthearted melody until the full horn section comes in, at which point the rhythm is swinging. Bass, piano, drums, and percussion are active behind the organ and horns. Andy Martin gets happy with a trombone solo and, about midway through, the saxophones and trumpets enjoy a background call-and-response. After a flurry of horn activity, the pace shifts back to a leisurely stroll.

Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" is a challenging song for anyone to cover well, but Goodwin's arrangement scores a hit. Siebels carries the lead, with strong support from the horns and percussionist Brad Dutz. During the chorus, the horns emphasize hits at all the appropriate times. Geissman shifts the famous bass line to the guitar during the middle break. For his part, Shaw does not attempt to emulate the bass solo at the end of the original, but he does an excellent job keeping the main rhythm. After a third run of the verse and chorus, the key shifts up for another run before coming back down.

"Sort of Like a Samba" has the horns more out front, holding down the melody while the organ leads the rhythm track. Dave Spurr steps in on drums and Michael George is on bass. Both figure prominently alongside Dutz during Siebels' solo. Ed Smart solos on tenor sax with Roy Wiegand on trumpet.

Goodwin and the Big Phat Band have received 11 Grammy nominations. Their combination with Siebels brings a wealth of experience and composing expertise. The album puts the best elements of big-band jazz with contemporary moods and melodies.

Track Listing: The Coupe; Not That There

Personnel: Dave Siebels: Hammond B3 organ; Gordon Goodwin: piano; Rick Shaw: bass; Grant Geissman: guitar; Bernie Dresel: drums; Brad Dutz: percussion; Wayner Bergeron: trumpet; Dan Fornero: trumpet; Pete De Siena: trumpet; Dan Savant: trumpet; Andy Martin: trombone; Alex Iles: trombone; Charlie Morillas: trombone; Craig Ware: bass trombone; Eric Marienthal: alto sax; Sal Lozano: alto sax; Brian Scanlon: tenor sax; Jeff Driskill: tenor sax; Jay Mason: baritone sax; Dave Spurr: drums (4, 7, 9); Michael George: bass (7, 9); Ed Smart: tenor sax (9).

Title: Dave Siebels with Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced


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