288

Vic Vogel / Le Jazz Band: Hangin' Loose

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Vic Vogel / Le Jazz Band: Hangin' Loose Although relatively unknown in the lower 48, Vic Vogel has been one of the brightest lights on the Canadian jazz scene for many years, a renowned composer, arranger and pianist who also presides over a superb Montreal-based big band. Much like Canadian counterparts Rob McConnell and Dave McMurdo, Vogel's bandleading recipe is unequivocal—engage the best musicians one can find, give them meaty charts to sink their collective teeth into, and let 'em do their thing. For the most part it works quite well on Hangin' Loose, the ensemble's first album in several years.

Opening a big band session with a ballad may seem an unusual choice, but much less so when the ballad, "I Can Dream Can't I, is a showcase for the great baritone saxophonist Jean Fréchette, whose muscular sound and supple technique call to mind such giants as Pepper Adams and Harry Carney. "Dream is credited to Vincent Youmans, not Sammy Fain, one of several slapdash errors on the jacket. ("Let Me Love You, on which Vogel's piano is front and center, is credited to "Kern but is a second-tier pop song written long after composer Jerome Kern's death; "Foster (Frank?), not Horace Silver, is named as the composer of "Strolling, another tour de force for baritonist Fréchette.) "Swinging Shepherd is, of course, Vogel's arrangement of the late Moe Kaufman's "Swingin' Shepherd Blues, which Moe probably never heard swing quite like this version, a lively skirmish between two soprano saxophones (the soloists aren't listed, but one of them is presumably lead alto Janis Steprans).

There are five more original compositions, three by Vogel, one (the boppish "Willi ) credited to "Parker (Charlie?), another ("Like What Is This, aka Cole Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love ) by "McKinley (first names aren't given). An exuberant rendition of Juan Tizol's venerable "Caravan rounds out the program. Vogel's "Marion's Theme is a groovy ballad, this one for alto saxophone (could be Steprans or David Turner). His other themes are the shuffling "Doggy Bag, funky "Hangin' Loose and Ellingtonesque "Song for Cootie. "What Is This and "Willi are the obligatory chops-busters, and in each case the band is equal to the task, with the reed section earning high marks for dexterity and drummer Dave Robbins impressive on "Willi.

If there's a downside, it's that sound quality is overly bright at times and not as crisp as one might expect from a studio session (the section work is sometimes more congested than crystalline). But that's not enough to dampen one's pleasure, as Vogel's arrangements are consistently persuasive and the band shows clearly why it is one of Canada's best. Definitely worth hearing.


Track Listing: I Can Dream Cant I?; Swinging Shepherd; Marions Theme; Doggy Bag; Like What Is This; Hangin Loose; Strolling; Let Me Love You; Caravan; Willi; Song for Cootie (61:41).

Personnel: Vic Vogel: leader, piano; Mike Cartile, Roger Woodall, Ron DiLauro, Joe Sullivan: trumpet; Janis Steprans, David Turner, Simon Stone, Pat Vetter, Jean Frchette: reeds; Patrice Dufour, Philippe Glinas, Michel Ouellet, Robert Ellis: trombone; David Gelfand: bass; Dave Robbins: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: VV Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Expanding Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Expanding Heart
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Gurutopia" CD/LP/Track Review Gurutopia
by James Nadal
Published: March 22, 2016
Read "Once Upon a Time Right Now" CD/LP/Track Review Once Upon a Time Right Now
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "The Golden Measure" CD/LP/Track Review The Golden Measure
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "Of Colors" CD/LP/Track Review Of Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 11, 2016
Read "No Parking Any Time" CD/LP/Track Review No Parking Any Time
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 12, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!