380

Chris Tedesco: Living the Dream

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Tedesco: Living the Dream In Living the Dream Los Angeles-based trumpeter/contractor/producer Chris Tedesco proves that he is a consummate multi-tasker. He leads his L.A. Jazz Big Band and Orchestra admirably, contracted the sessions, arranged a selection, composed four originals, engineered, edited, and produced the CD. The result of this array of endeavors is a slick, swinging, throwback salute to hip, straight-ahead big band jazz in the tradition of the great Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Orchestra.

This ten-tune disc offers a mix of fine originals and well-known jazz classics, all done in a marvelous style. While there's no avant-garde, ultra-outside hip, breakthrough stuff here, there's no need. This recipe works very well, so revolutionaries and outsiders should look elsewhere. Living the Dream is utterly purist in proudly bowing to the classic big band and vocalist/orchestra formats. The balance here—between Tedesco's leading and playing, individuals' solo performances, ensemble playing, and the great arrangements—is near-perfect.

Tedesco, an "Upstate Burner" originally from Niagara Falls, New York and, for two-plus decades, a first-call fixture on the L.A. studio scene, plays marvelously in a very Severinsen-esque style. His sound is full, engaging, chock-full of chops, and his technique is terrific. The inclusion of fine vocalist Tony Galla and string orchestra into the mix and the incorporation of Jim McMillen's tasty, intelligent, no-clichés arrangements—his pen spewing lines of intelligence and challenge throughout—show Tedesco's swing savvy and production smarts.

The opener, "Shuffle This," sets the CD table and the menu is swing, served four-star hot. The funky street-beat strut of "Get on Board" features a nice gut-bucket trombone solo by Jim McMillen and some hot Tedesco sauce. "Race to the Bottom" is a fun speedball with "Sing, Sing, Sing" percussive overtones. Tedesco opens up his solo jazz chops nicely, while Brian Scanlon's scatting sax solos wail, as do Glenn Berger's and Rick Keller's. "I've Got Some Kind of Rhythm" flows nicely with a nice tongue-turning by trombonist Bob McChesney. The ensemble playing across the session is articulate and never too studio tight or sterile. The rhythm section drives and never intrudes.

Song stylist Tony Galla gets the what used to be called "Cadillac touch" and a spotlight (with Tedesco fills) with string orchestra on "Willow Weep for Me" and big band on "Learnin' the Blues." Galla has a versatile, full, classic—yet soulfully hip—voice, with shades of Tony Bennett, James Brown, and two "Kings"—Nat "King" Cole and King Pleasure. He's a deft phrase-turner with an elegant lyric touch.

The production values on Living the Dream are excellent and the black "vinyl" CD plays shrewdly to the classic production package.

To paraphrase the title of an old Guy Lombardo tune: "Did You Ever See a Dream Swinging?" Here it is. Buona sera!

Track Listing: Shuffle This; Get on Board; Willow Weep for Me; Learnin' the Blues; Race to the Bottom; I've Got "Some" Kind of Rhythm; It's a Man's World; The Opener; Lewistonia; Moody's Mood for Love.

Personnel: Chris Tedesco: trumpet, flugelhorn: Harry Kim: trumpet; Bill Churchville: trumpet; Lee Thornburg: trumpet; Dan Fornero: Larry Williams: trumpet; Bruce Otto: trombone (1,4); Jim McMillen: trombone; Bob McChesney; trombone; Dave Ryan: trombone; Ira Nepus: trombone:(5,9) Charlie Morillas: bass trombone; Brian Scanlon: alto sax, soprano sax; Rusty Higgins: alto sax; Phil Feather; alto sax (5, 8); Glen Berger: tenor sax; Rick Keller: tenor sax; Glen Berger: baritone sax; Jeff Driskill: tenor sax (2); Corey Allen: piano; Jon Kurnick: guitar (10); Kevin Axt: bass; Dave Tull: drums; The angel City Studio Orchestra, Massamici Amano, conductor (3,7): John Wittenberg: violin/concertmaster; Kathleen Robertson, Phillip Vaiman, Kristin Fife, Cameron Patrick,Chris Reutinger,Isabelle Senger, Anna Kostyuchek, Zina Kostyuchek, Vladimir Polimatidi; Carolyn Osborne, Jackie Suzuki, Charlie Bisharat, susan Chatman: violins; Miriam Mayer, Margo Aldcroft, Adriana Zoppo, Novi Novog: violas; Peggy Baldwin, stefanie Fife, Jan Kelley, Kevan Torfeh: celli; Phil Feather: oboe; Bob Shulgold: flute;Joe Meyer: french horn; Paul Klintworth: french horn; Richard Geere: piano; Adrian Rosen: bass; MB Gordy: drums; Jon Kurnick: guitar.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Big Band


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "WANDERlust" CD/LP/Track Review WANDERlust
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Escape  from The Unhappy Society" CD/LP/Track Review Escape from The Unhappy Society
by Anthony Shaw
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Tributango" CD/LP/Track Review Tributango
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works" CD/LP/Track Review Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Live At Blues Alley" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Blues Alley
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "Salt Task" CD/LP/Track Review Salt Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2017
comments powered by Disqus

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!