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Gordon Goodwin

Even for a successful composer and arranger in Hollywood, Gordon Goodwin’s numbers are impressive: A 2006 GRAMMY Award for his Instrumental Arrangement of “Incredits” from the Pixar film The Incredibles, three Emmy Awards, and thirteen GRAMMY nominations.

Here’s another impressive number to add to the list: eighteen. As in the number of musicians in Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, one of the most exciting large jazz ensembles on the planet. Populated by L.A.’s finest players, the Big Phat Band takes the big band tradition into the new millennium with a contemporary, highly original sound featuring Goodwin’s witty, intricate, and hard-swinging compositions in a veritable grab bag of styles: swing, Latin, blues, classical, rock and more.

A steady, persistent audio diet of the giants of jazz, pop, rock and funk has nourished Goodwin’s being since childhood. Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Tower of Power, among many others, filled the well for the music his band makes today. And like those other bands, Goodwin’s music is nothing less than astonishing when experienced live.

Goodwin’s ability to combine jazz excellence with any musical style makes his writing appealing to fans across the spectrum. That’s why both beboppers and headbangers dig Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band.

Established in 2000, the Big Phat Band’s debut recording, Swingin’ For The Fences (Silverline Records), featured guest artists Arturo Sandoval and Eddie Daniels. It made history as the first commercially available DVD-Audio title ever released and the first DVD-Audio title to receive two GRAMMY nominations.

The band’s second album, XXL (Silverline Records), was released on DVD-Audio and compact disc in 2003. Charting its first week, XXL garnered three GRAMMY nominations for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, Best Instrumental Composition (“Hunting Wabbits”) and Best Instrumental Arrangement with Vocals (“Comes Love” with Brian McKnight and Take 6), while winning the Surround Sound Award for “Best Made for Surround Sound Title.” The list of guest artists matched the high quality of the first release and featured, among others, Johnny Mathis and the incomparable Michael Brecker.

The Big Phat Band’s third album, The Phat Pack (immergent Records), with guest stars Dianne Reeves, David Sanborn, Eddie Daniels and Take 6, received a GRAMMY nomination and spent 31 weeks on the Billboard jazz charts.

Released in September 2008, the Big Phat Band’s fourth recording, Act Your Age, far outsold every other big band record in its path. Produced by acclaimed guitarist Lee Ritenour, it featured a host of terrific guests including Patti Austin, Chick Corea, Dave Grusin and even Ritenour himself, plus a special appearance by the late pianist Art Tatum on a stunning performance that had jaws dropping right and left. The critically acclaimed Act Your Age garnered three GRAMMY nominations.

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33
Album Review

Jeremy Cohen: Raymond Scott Reimagined

Read "Raymond Scott Reimagined" reviewed by Walter Atkins


Raymond Scott Reimagined is an engaging collaborative project with Quartet San Francisco, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band and the Grammy winning acapella group Take 6 on two tracks. The album is a thoughtful and stylish interpretation of Raymond Scott's legacy. It is also interspersed with audio tidbits featuring Scott's singular musical approaches. The album kicks off with the enticing “Powerhouse," familiar to anyone who has watched a Warner Bros Looney Tunes cartoon. “Toy Trumpet" is a tasty composition ...

27
Album Review

Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band: The Reset

Read "The Reset" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Gordon Goodwin's dynamic Big Phat Band rumbles back onto the scene with The Reset, a somewhat less-than-big-phat album whose dual purpose, according to Goodwin, is to express hope and gratitude in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic and to honor one of Goodwin's mentors, the late Sammy Nestico. Goodwin calls the album an EP, whose twenty-eight minute playing time places it in roughly the same ballpark as a vinyl LP from the good old days before digital recording and streaming. ...

3
Take Five With...

Take Five with Gordon Goodwin

Read "Take Five with Gordon Goodwin" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Meet Gordon Goodwin Having amassed 21 Grammy nominations, four Grammy wins and three Emmy wins, Gordon Goodwin is one of the most decorated big band leaders in the 21st century. As the leader of Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, an internationally renowned ensemble with a reputation as one of the most exciting in jazz, the BPB has released eight critically acclaimed records, including Life in the Bubble, (Telarc, 2014) which garnered four Grammy Nominations, and won the Grammy ...

476
Album Review

Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band: Act Your Age

Read "Act Your Age" reviewed by Edward Blanco


Band leader, composer and instrumentalist Gordon Goodwin takes his 18-piece Big Phat Band to another level, producing a rare CD/DVD set and garnishing a heap of praise from critics and the Grammy folks alike. Act Your Age is one heck of an album, having received three 2008 Grammy nominations for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, Best Instrumental Composition (Goodwin's “Hit The Ground Running"), and Best Instrumental Arrangement (Goodwin's arrangement of “Yesterdays"). This makes for a total of 11 nominations, and ...

303
Album Review

Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band: The Phat Pack

Read "The Phat Pack" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The suave and irrepressible Rat Pack, whose urbane image was shrewdly nurtured for so many years by Ol' Blue Eyes, meistersinger Frank Sinatra himself, is no longer with us. Luckily, we have as partial solace The Phat Pack, the convivial third recording by jack-of-all-trades Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. Goodwin bows respectfully to his illustrious predecessors by reprising two songs closely associated with members of the Rodent Gang, Sinatra's “It Was a Very Good Year" and Sammy Davis Jr.'s “Too ...

288
Album Review

Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band: XXL

Read "XXL" reviewed by Russell Moon


We still have a few weeks before he hear Auld Lang Syne, but I'm going to vote early. I hold in my hands the Album of the Year.

XXL is the Big Phat Band's second album. Its first, Swingin' For the Fences, was nominated for two Grammys two years ago. Composer/arranger Gordon Goodwin has won three Emmys for his work on cartoons. He formed the band as a studio unit, but it now performs twice a month in the Los ...

189
Album Review

Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band: Swingin' for the Fences

Read "Swingin' for the Fences" reviewed by Jack Bowers


To carry the baseball metaphor a step further, the hard–hitting Big Phat Band not only swings for the fences on skipper Gordon Goodwin’s dynamic new album, it slams almost every fastball or curve thrown its way well beyond the fence and out of the park. And even when the ensemble misses, it does so by no more than a whisker. From this vantage point the first eight tracks are towering home runs, while the last two are solidly struck triples ...

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“The Big Phat Band provides potent testimony to the sheer exhilaration of big band jazz…a combination of crisp accuracy and fiery soloing.” (Don Heckman, LA Times.)

Big Phat Band Review
Comprised mostly of little-known but highly capable West Coast studio musicians ex-Chuck Mangione guitarist Grant Geissman was the most recognizable name the Big Phat Band delivered Goodwin’s charts with unflagging energy and an appropriately professional polish. Trombonist Andy Martin and tenor saxophonist Brian Scanlon stood out among the soloists; trumpeter Rick Sorenson skillfully supplied the high note work; and drummer Bernie Dresel proved adept at powering the 18-member ensemble through a variety of grooves.

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Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Raymond Scott...

ViolinJazz Recordings
2023

buy

The Reset

Music of Content
2021

buy

That's How We Roll

Telarc Records
2011

buy

Act Your Age

Immergent Records
2008

buy

The Phat Pack

Immergent Records
2006

buy

XXL

Unknown label
2003

buy

Cutey and the Dragon

From: Raymond Scott Reimagined
By Gordon Goodwin

Toy Trumpet

From: Raymond Scott Reimagined
By Gordon Goodwin

The Reset

From: The Reset
By Gordon Goodwin

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