For a good-time jazz album, you can't beat The Dalton Gang's Just for Tonight. The group is one of the most unique ensembles in jazz and is equally at home in Latin music and Tower of Power-style funk.
Willy Dalton's original funk tune, "Pressure," is notable for its precision hornwork while the CD's opening cut, Bobby Timmons' "Moanin'", gets an exciting Latin workout. One of the most unusual and musically effective arrangements on the CD is the group's Latin rendition of Thelonious Monk's "Well You Needn't." Guitarist and leader Dalton shows that he is a bluesman second to none with the group's low down blues version of Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love," which also features an emptional solo by baritone saxophonist Tom Boras.
In a completely different vein, Dalton's original ballad "Just for Tonight" features the full-throated tenor sax of Frank Elmo and trumpeter Vinnie Cutro. The group shows that it can perform straight ahead jazz in "Legwork," another Dalton original
Fans of salsa and merengue will not be disappointed with this album. Percussionist Frank Valdes contributes an original tune, "El Boogaloo," which is as hard driving merengue as you'll hear anywhere. A nice tune more in the Tito Puente style is Dalton's "Easy," which spotlights pianist Mike DiLorenzo and trombonist Conrad Zulauf, Jr. And if that isn't enough to convince you of the Dalton Gang's musical ecclecticism and versatility, there is a breezy swinging rendition of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's "Blackbird," perhaps the only musically interesting arrangement available on a recording of that hackneyed and unsophisticated piece. Mark Firedman's flutework is especially nice on the Beatles ditty.
Just for Tonight is an excellent album and makes the listener long to hear more. Not only that, it makes even the most reluctant terpsichorean want to put on his dance shoes and go cut a rug.
Track Listing: Moanin'; Pressure; Tensions; Blackbird; Easy; Just for Tonight; Legwork;
Boogaloo; Check It Out; Please Send Me Someone to Love; Strollin'; Well
Personnel: Willy Dalton, guitar; Vince Cherico, drums; Vinnie Cutro, trumpet; Mike
Dilorenzo, piano, organ; Conrad Zulauf, Jr., trombone; John Cleveland
Hughes, bass; Tom Boras, baritone sax; Frank Elmo, tenor sax; Mark
Friedman, alto sax, flute; Frank Valdes, percussion
I was first exposed to jazz as a child in Boston and at a Sun Ra concert.
I met Jaco Pastorius as a teenager in NYC.
The best show I ever attended was The Gap Band.
The first jazz record I bought was Heavy Weather.