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 Can

Personnel: Vic Vogel: leader, piano; Mike Cartile, Roger Woodall, Ron DiLauro, Joe Sullivan: trumpet; Janis Steprans, David Turner, Simon Stone, Pat Vetter, Jean Fr

Title: Hangin' Loose | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: VV Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
1+1=2
Not On Label (Vic Vogel Self-released)
2006
buy
Hangin' Loose
Not On Label (Vic Vogel Self-released)
0
buy

More Articles

Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Dobbeltgaenger" CD/LP/Track Review Dobbeltgaenger
by John Sharpe
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "Live In New York" CD/LP/Track Review Live In New York
by John Sharpe
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Reciprocity" CD/LP/Track Review Reciprocity
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "Duet" CD/LP/Track Review Duet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "Ed Calle 360" CD/LP/Track Review Ed Calle 360
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 17, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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