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This CD captures live performances of the Sarasota Jazz Band and Mike Vax's Big Band in live performances in Sarasota, FL and Oakland, CA, respectively. Pianist and honcho of the Sarasota group, George W. Carroll, sings on about half the tracks. None of the other performers are listed except for Roger DeLillo on trombone. That's unfortunate because perhaps the sole redeeming value of this release is the solo work, like the guitar on "Paris" and bass on "This Bass Was Made for Walkin'".
It's regrettable that this CD is somewhat below the high standard of this group's previous releases. While the play list offers excellent possibilities, with a mix of originals and jazz and classic standards, expectations are never met. The band seems unrehearsed and unsure. This is not to say that there are no listenable tracks, but overall the session is inconsistent. Thad Jones' "To You" just drags. On the positive side, the arrangement for "Old Devil Moon" brings some swinging new life to this warhorse. The section work is right on target and the dynamics varied and strong. In fairness, the engineering for this set is less than sparkling, a disservice to the players. Carroll's singing is nothing to write home about, just a notch above adequate.
Really a disappointing outing given what we were used to hearing from this group via its other releases.
Track Listing: To You; This Bass Was Made for Walkin'; I'll Never Stop Loving You+; Moment to Moment; Old Devil Moon; Being Green+; Birdland; A Time for Love; Dolphin Dance; Goodbye+; Mesmerized+; Destination Love+; Paris+
Personnel: George W. Carroll - Vocals+/Piano; Mike Vax - Conductor/Trumpet; Roger DeLillo - Trombone
| Record Label: Sarasota Sunsets
| Style: Big Band
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.