All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

171

hr Bigband: Once in a Lifetime

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
It's not often—perhaps only Once in a Lifetime—that a big band, from Germany no less, has a chance to record with not one but two of the jazz world's acknowledged master craftsmen, organist Joey DeFrancesco and drummer Jeff Hamilton. The hr Bigband from Frankfurt seized that chance in December '03, and the result is this spectacular album on which DeFrancesco and Hamilton affirm beyond any doubt that they are among the very best at what they do.

The nine persuasive charts were written by the conductor, young Jörg Achim Keller, and the groovy opener, Matty Malneck/Robert Maxwell's "Shangri-La, is tailor-made for DeFrancesco's expressive Hammond B-3. In fact, no mood or tempo daunts the ruling monarch of the organ, who solos marvelously on every number. And if DeFrancesco is comfortable out front, Hamilton is no less so in the background, spurring the ensemble onward with his customary panache and intelligence.

The choice of material is expansive, traversing the spectrum from the aforementioned "Shangri-La to the Marlene Dietrich classic "Falling in Love Again, Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Once I Loved and "Meditation, the too-seldom heard standards "I'm A Fool to Want You and "Everything Happens to Me, Sonny Rollins' bluesy "Sonnymoon for Two and even the Patti Page warhorse, "Tennessee Waltz (played in waltz-time), before closing appropriately with the Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley showstopper, "Once in a Lifetime. DeFrancesco, a natural-born swinger, lays bare his tender and sensitive side on the ballads.

The hr ensemble is more than a mere onlooker at the party, responding with alacrity to Hamilton's guidance while giving DeFrancesco plenty of help in the solo department. Trumpeter Axel Schlosser, tenor Tony Lakatos, trombonist Günter Bollman and soprano Heinz-Dieter Sauerbrun are heard on "Shangri-La, the trombone section on "Falling in Love Again, bassist Thomas Heidepriem on "Sonnymoon, Schlosser (flugel) on "I'm a Fool, Lakatos on "Tennessee Waltz, flutist Harry Petersen on "Meditation. Petersen and Lakatos swap tenor salvos on "Lifetime, on which Hamilton takes his only solo.

In case you were wondering, the "hr stands for Hessischer Rundfunk, but all you need know is that it denotes a world-class big band whose "once in a lifetime encounter with jazz masters DeFrancesco and Hamilton has produced an exemplary and unreservedly recommended album.


Track Listing: Shangri-La; Falling In Love Again; Once I Loved; SonnymoonFor Two; I'm A Fool To Want You; Tennessee Waltz; Meditation; Everything Happens To Me; Once In A Life Time.

Personnel: Jorg Achim Keller: conductor; Joey DeFrancesco: Hammond B-3 organ; Jeff Hamilton: drums; Heinz Dieter Sauerborn, Tony Lakatos, Harry Petersen, Steffen Weber, Rainer Heute: reeds; Paul Lanzerath, Martin Auer, Thomas Vogel, Axel Schlosser: trumpet & flugelhorn; Peter Feil, Christian Jaksjo, Manfred Honetschlager: trombone; Werner Vetterer: guitar; Thomas Heidepriem: bass.

Title: Once In A Lifetime | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: TCB Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Colours of Sound CD/LP/Track Review
Colours of Sound
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 23, 2018
Read A Blast From The Past CD/LP/Track Review
A Blast From The Past
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Rhapsody CD/LP/Track Review
Rhapsody
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2018
Read You're Driving Me Crazy CD/LP/Track Review
You're Driving Me Crazy
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read "Solo Contra" CD/LP/Track Review Solo Contra
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: February 24, 2018
Read "Live in New York, 2010" CD/LP/Track Review Live in New York, 2010
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 31, 2017
Read "Veterans of Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Challenger Deep" CD/LP/Track Review Challenger Deep
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 15, 2018
Read "Food Foragers" CD/LP/Track Review Food Foragers
by Don Phipps
Published: March 13, 2018
Read "Chants To The Sea - The Corium project" CD/LP/Track Review Chants To The Sea - The Corium project
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 30, 2018