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Each Nancie Banks Orchestra album seems to come with an unconditional guarantee that the listener will be treated to creative and compelling charts played by a dynamic big band. The group's 4th album, Out of It, is one of those satisfaction guaranteed albums. There's a new wrinkle with this latest effort with Cecil Bridgewater conducting, arranging and playing his formidable trumpet on some cuts. Talk about icing on the cake. In addition to Bridgewater's, there are arrangements by Thad Jones, Harold Vick, Frank Foster and Nancie Banks herself. Nancie also shares her delightful, flexible vocal chords on six of the tracks. "Shiny Stockings" is one of the choice tracks on the CD with Nancie Banks joined by the solid trumpet of James Zollar with Michael Max Fleming's melodic strummed bass providing the foundation. Another outstanding Banks' vocal is her wistful, rendition of "Chelsea Bridge" in the manner of Helen Merrill. Bassist Fleming also shows up on Harold Vick's "Vicksville" sharing honors with Marshall McDonald's James Moody like tenor. Count Basie veteran Clarence Banks also adds his trombone to this cut. Perhaps the most breathtaking cut from the session is Thad Jones' "Greetings and Salutations" where drummer Brian Grice has encounters with just about everyone in the band as well as taking some propelling solos.
The combination of sure fire arrangements mastered by jazz artists with an extraordinary feel for the music with the capability of translating that feel into a rousing, vibrant 50 minutes makes this album a winner and recommended. Visit Nancie at www.jazzsingers.com/nanciebanks.
Track Listing: Viva Bird!; Vicksville; All of Me; Out of It/Still out of It; Chelsea Bridge/Victoria; Greetings and Salutations; Shiny Stockings; That Ain't Right; Bebop
Personnel: Nancie Banks - Vocals/Conductor; Cecil Bridgewater - Trumpet/Conductor; Terence Connley - Piano; Michael Max Fleming - Bass; Brian Grice - Drums; Rick Henly, Marty Bound, Lukas Froelich, James Zollar - Trumpet; John Gordon, Clarence Banks, Stafford Hunter, Aaron "A. J" Johnson - Trombone; Jack Jeffers - Tuba; Enrique Fernandez. Brad Leali - Alto Sax/Flute; Marshall McDonald - Tenor Sax/Clarinet; Wayne Escoffery - Tenor Sax/Flute; Irwin Snow - Baritone Sax
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.