96

STB Big Band: Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
STB Big Band: Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival Even playing “offstage” (in other words, in an out–of–the–way venue), as the announcer says in introducing the ensemble, performing at the 30th Montreux Jazz Festival must have been one of life’s momentous watermarks for Germany’s youthful STB Big Band, and they certainly give the concert everything they have. Like most bands I’ve heard from that country, amateur or professional, they play well as a unit, but STB has no strong solo voices, and the eight vocals — four by Pedret, three by Mayer, a duet on “All of Me” — are on the whole flat and unimpressive. “It Had to Be You” was not written to accommodate a heavy German accent (Pedret fares better in Spanish on “Sola Naci” and “24000 Baci”), while on “All of Me” he demonstrates that scat–singing is an art form that shouldn’t be undertaken by novices. Among the highlights are a respectable treatment of “Gonna Fly Now” (the theme from Rocky ), Bob Mintzer’s lively mambo “Frankie’s Tune” (nice solo by pianist Gaiswinkler), Paul Ferguson’s Basie–like “Stop Counting” and Dizzy’s fiery “Manteca” (which gives the ensemble a chance to flex its collective muscles and baritone saxophonist Mahlzeit an admirable solo). Decently high marks for the ensemble, but no more than passable for soloists or singers. In other words, a mixed bag — but I’m sure no less exciting for the band whose members can now say proudly, “Hey, everyone, we played the Montreux Jazz Festival.” Good for them!

Track listing: Introduction: Hay Burner; Hard Rock Café; It Had to Be You; Sola Naci; 24000 Baci; Stop Counting; A Night in Tunisia; Gonna Fly Now; Mustang Sally; The Girl from Ipanema; Frankie’s Tune; Almaz; Almost Like Being in Love; Manteca; All of Me (66:20).


Personnel:

Ute G

Title: Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: STB


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

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 Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "New Jazz Standards, Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review New Jazz Standards, Volume 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 8, 2017
Read "TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)" CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Stephan Crump's Rhombal" CD/LP/Track Review Stephan Crump's Rhombal
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Verde" CD/LP/Track Review Verde
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Ears Are Filled With Wonder" CD/LP/Track Review Ears Are Filled With Wonder
by John Sharpe
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Jim Olin
Published: June 30, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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