211

Craig Raymond and the Next Generation Big Band: It's Our Time

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Craig Raymond and the Next Generation Big Band: It's Our Time If the name Craig Raymond sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because he’s the son of longtime Philadelphia bandleader Al Raymond, who recently retired and handed the reins to his trumpet-playing offspring (hence the name “Next Generation Band”). Stylistically, the band remains roughly the same, about equal parts jazz and dance music, but the younger Raymond keeps everyone sharply focused and the ensemble swings with abandon on “Night Train,” chief arranger Grant Whisler’s “Orbit,” John Philip Sousa’s martial flag-waver “Stars and Stripes Forever,” Kurt Weill’s “Speak Low” and (behind vocalist Bobby Burnett) a fast-paced version of Alan Brandt’s “That’s All.” Alto saxophonist Larry McKenna is showcased on Russel Faith’s “Theme for Jacqualine,” lead trombonist Chuck Dressler (and the section) on Victor Young’s “Stella by Starlight,” trumpeter Tony DeSantis on Johnny Burke / Jimmy Van Heusen’s “But Beautiful.”

Pianist Pete Jackson (who, sadly, died shortly after the session was held) is bright and entertaining on “Bubbles,” an updated version of the old favorite “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.” There’s one other vocal, by Barbara Noel on a second Victor Young composition, “When I Fall in Love.” Two medleys complete the program, “Themes” (on which Al Raymond introduces seven memorable signature songs by other bands) and “Jingle Ballads” (three seasonal favorites taken at a leisurely pace). We’re sorry to see that Father Time has obliged the elder Raymond to step aside, but based on the evidence presented here, the future (of his band, at least) seems to rest in extremely capable hands. In other words, Craig Raymond is a chip off the old block and the New Generation Big Band should be swinging in his dad’s footsteps for years to come.

Contact: Alanna Records, 2009 Murdstone Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15241 (phone 800-228-5558; e-mail alanna5@bellatlantic.net)

Track Listing: Night Train; Stella by Starlight; Bubbles; When I Fall in Love; Orbit; Theme for Jacqualine; That

Personnel: Craig Raymond, leader, trumpet; Don Downs, Kevin Rodgers, Bill Posey, Tony DeSantis, Rick Gazda, trumpet, flugelhorn; Chuck Dressler, Brian Pastor, Mike Galan, trombone; Mike Purdy, Jose Vidal, bass trombone; Jeff Darrohn, Andrew Neu, alto sax; Rob Haffley, Bob Apgar, Larry McKenna, alto, tenor sax solos; Mike Brignola, baritone sax; Pete Jackson, piano; Kevin MacConnell, bass; Tony Vigilante, drums; Barbara Noel, Bobby Burnett, vocals.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Alanna | Style: Big Band


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "N.O. Escape" CD/LP/Track Review N.O. Escape
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Endemic Ensemble: Tangled" CD/LP/Track Review Endemic Ensemble: Tangled
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)" CD/LP/Track Review Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)
by John Eyles
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Stille Post (Radio Works: 2003-2011)" CD/LP/Track Review Stille Post (Radio Works: 2003-2011)
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Through The Glass" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Glass
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "When the sleeping fish turn red and the skies start to sing in C major I will follow you to the end" CD/LP/Track Review When the sleeping fish turn red and the skies start to sing...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 13, 2016

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!