180

BBC Big Band / RIAS Big Band: Live in Berlin

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Here’s a dynamic big–band recording that makes those pervasive duo–piano sessions we so often hear pale by comparison. In February ’98, Britain’s BBC and Germany’s RIAS big bands combined forces for an electrifying series of concerts in Dresden, Liepzig and Berlin that left the sold–out houses clamoring for encores. Besides sharing the stage, the ensembles double everyone’s pleasure by performing together on Basie’s “Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart,” Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the ‘A’ Train” and the boisterous finale, Ellington’s “Battle Royal.” The bands trade soloists too, with RIAS director/trombonist Jiggs Whigham fashioning an outstanding solo with the BBC ensemble on Gershwin’s “Love Walked In” and flugel Till Brönner even more spectacular on “Secret Love.” The combined ventures work extremely well, as the BBC band is on the left channel in stereo, RIAS on the right. High marks to Whigham and BBC director Barry Forgie for coordinating the production, which must have been far knottier than the finished work would lead one to believe. After the brief opening themes (“RIASessement” and the BBC’s “Ticker”), the bands get down to business with “Woodside,” after which the BBC ensemble performs the classic Bob Florence arrangement of “Body and Soul” (with pianist Andy Vinter sitting in for Bob) and “Secret Love,” RIAS returns for “Daydream” (featuring Whigham’s trombone) and the bands combine for the Ellington medley and “‘A’ Train.” Artie Shaw’s “Back Beat Shuffle” (RIAS) is next, followed by “Love Walked In” and “Sophisticated Lady” (both BBC), Benny Goodman’s “Swingtime in the Rockies” (RIAS) and finally, “Battle Royal.” Complete personnel, alas, are unlisted, but the names of soloists are provided on the tray card. Everyone is fine, with tenors Gary Cox and Walter Gauchel dueling on “Woodside,” Brönner and the BBC’s Mark White manning the trumpet ramparts on “‘A’ Train,” and no less than 15 members of the combined bands soloing in less than seven minutes on “Battle Royal.” In sum, more than an hour of exhilarating music by not one but two world–class big bands, and scarcely a moment of it wasted.

Track listing: RIASessement; Ticker; Jumpin’ at the Woodside; Body & Soul; Secret Love; Daydream; Sing Sing Sing; Don’t Get Around Much Anymore / I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart; Take the “A” Train; Back Bay Shuffle; Love Walked In; Sophisticated Lady; Swingtime in the Rockies; Battle Royal (64:05).

Personnel:

Unlisted.

Contact: Doyen Recordings Ltd., The Doyen Centre, Vulcan St., Oldham OL1 4EP, United Kingdom (phone 0161 628 3799; fax 0161 628 0177).

| Record Label: Doyen | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Woodclock" CD/LP/Track Review Woodclock
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano" CD/LP/Track Review EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano
by Doug Collette
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Troy Collins
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Ready Take One" CD/LP/Track Review Ready Take One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "The Brothers Brown:  Dusty Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Brothers Brown: Dusty Road
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 7, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!