The Royal Air Force Squadronaires can rightly lay claim to being one of the UK's most historically important big bands, and judging by the vibrancy of Helping the Heroes (Jazz Specific, 2012), undoubtedly one of the very best. A showcase for vocalist Todd Gordon and The Royal Air Force Squadronaires' impressive collective voice, that album is being launched in 2013 in several European countries as well as Canada, Australia South Korea and Japan under the new title Evergreen, no doubt in reference to the longevity of a band that first recorded for Decca 70 years ago.
"My Favorite Things" is the single chosen to promote the album, but in truth, any of the thirteen tracks would have done the job just as well. Gordon is joined by vocalist Erin Dickinsfounding member of The Manhattan Transfer and the two blend well in a swinging rendition of the 1959 hit by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein. It's an enjoyable sampler, but the real treasures are to be found on the full CD, which shows off the RAFS at its rip-roaring best.
Todd Gordon: vocals; Erin Dickens: vocals; The Royal Air Force Squadronaires: Sgt Kev Miles: leader, drums; SAC Ben Godfrey: trumpet; Sgt Paul Sutton: trumpet; Cpl Michael McGowan: trumpet; SAC Andrew Lofthouse: trumpet; Cpl Steve Bennett: trumpet; Sgt Andy Hooley: saxophone; SAC Mike Hearman: saxophone; SAC Andy Mears: saxophone; Cpl George Martin: saxophone; Chief Technician Suzanne Faithful: saxophone; Cpl Hamish Dean: trombone; SAC Jonathan Pippen: trombone; SAC Jonathan Hill: trombone; SAC Adam Smith: trombone; FS Grant Charleston: guitar; Sgt Adrian Beckwith: piano; Sgt Andy Rigby: bass.
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.