157

Montclair Women's Big Band: Montclair Women's Big Band

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Referred to as one of the best-kept secrets in jazz, the Oakland-based Montclair Women's Big Band unveils fourteen classic jazz and blues standards on this self-titled debut album. Under the direction of trumpeter and bandleader Ellen Seeling, this seventeen-piece ensenmble plays regularly at the Montclair Women's Cultural Arts Club. The band is comprised of players from all over the Bay Area; this recording also showcases three vocalists—Vicki Randle of the Tonight Show house band, Linda Tillery of the Cultural Heritage Choir, and local singer Pamela Rose—plus a guest drummer from New York, Allison Miller.

Miller opens up the music to a real swinging start with a hard drum roll on "The Brownsville Express." Vicki Randle leads the group on the familiar "For Once In My Life," the first of her three vocal performances. The ladies open it up on Don Menza's "Groovin' Hard" with some loud and forceful playing and featured solos from Amelia Catalano (baritone) and the leader (trumpet).

Don't miss the popular standard "Teach Me Tonight," arranged by Tom Kubis. This performance includes phenomenal solos by Mad Duran on alto and Jean Fineberg on tenor, plus a beautiful piano chorus by Tammy Hall. If you are a fan of Frank Sinatra's music, then you will appreciate this rendition of "The Lady Is A Tramp," where Randle shares vocals with Tillery, backed up by a big band sound from the orchestra.

The group tones it down on Jobim's samba classic "Quiet Nights," featuring the leader on trumpet. Displaying real diversity, the gals turn back the clock for a taste of old-fashioned swing dance music with "String Of Pearls." Seeling includes a pair of John La Barbera arrangements with "Filthy McNasty" and the Sinatra staple "Fly Me To The Moon." The band concludes with another hot and brassy tune, "Pump It Up."

A swinging big band these ladies surely make. If you want to hit the dance floor for some hip movement, grind to a slower sound, or just listen to a bit of straight-ahead bop, there's enough material here to please your fancy. An excellent power-infused performance with a great selection of charts that captures the essence of this group.


Track Listing: The Brownsville Express; For Once In My Life; River's Invitation; Come Rain Or Come Shine; Groovin' Hard; Teach Me Tonight; The Lady Is A Tramp; Quiet Nights; Taking A Chance On Love; Caravan; String Of Pearls; Filthy McNasty; Fly Me To The Moon; Pump It Up.

Personnel: Barbara Speed, Sonya Jason, Mad Duran, Jean Fineberg, Annelise Zamula, Amelia Catalano: saxophones; Ellen Seeling, Tami Ellis, Christy Dana, Marina Garza: trumpets; Mara Fox, Sarah Cline, Pat Mullan, Becca Burrington: trombones; Tammy Hall: piano; Jan Martinelli: bass; Allison Miller: drums; Vicki Randle, Linda Tillery, Pamela Rose: vocals.

Title: Montclair Women's Big Band | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Pivotal Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Obfusc/ation" CD/LP/Track Review Obfusc/ation
by Doug Collette
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Standard Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Standard Blue
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "The Big Wig" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read "Second City" CD/LP/Track Review Second City
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 1, 2017
Read "BACHanalia" CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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