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Album Review

Mike Barone Big Band: Brazil

Read "Brazil" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Brazil doesn't signify that the venerable California-based composer / arranger Mike Barone has gone Latin; it simply means that “Brazil" is the opening number and the name Barone chose for the latest in his long-running series of remarkable big-band albums. No matter, as a Barone recording by any other name would be every inch as inspired and exciting, thanks in large measure to his unerring control of the vehicle, not to mention his invariably radiant and resourceful charts.

3

Album Review

Mike Barone Big Band: La Fiesta

Read "La Fiesta" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Mike Barone has been writing outstanding big-band arrangements for more than half a century. After listening to La Fiesta, Barone's ninth album as leader of the Los Angeles-based Mike Barone Big Band (counting Live at Donte's, recorded back in 1968), the logical question arises: does Barone ever run short of resourceful ideas? To which the obvious answer is, not yet. Where else, for example, but on a Barone album could sparkling new arrangements of such moss-covered Tin Pan Alley heirlooms ...

249

Album Review

Mike Barone Big Band: Flight Of The Bumblebee

Read "Flight Of The Bumblebee" reviewed by Paul J. Youngman


Big band leader, composer, arranger and trombonist Mike Barone notes, on the jacket of Flight Of The Bumblebee, that “Rimsky-Korsakov is turning over in his grave as we speak, or maybe he isn't." One thing is for sure, the energy level of this band is enough to raise the dead. The band is flying high on every tune of this live big band offering.The majority of Flight Of The Bumblebee's twelve songs are Barone originals, with the exception ...

372

Album Review

Mike Barone Big Band: Flight of the Bumblebee

Read "Flight of the Bumblebee" reviewed by Robert J. Robbins


For a quarter-century, Mike Barone provided arrangements for Doc Severinsen's NBC-TV <em>Tonight Show</em> Band, but these were seldom heard by anyone except the studio audiences for the actual telecasts (although excerpts were audible to viewers as intros and exits from commercial breaks). Since the band's dissolution more than fifteen years ago, however, Barone has been recording many of these charts with his own Los Angeles-based ensemble, and Flight of the Bumblebee is just the latest in this string of CDs ...

277

Album Review

Mike Barone Big Band: By Request

Read "By Request" reviewed by Jack Bowers


As there is scarcely a clue anywhere on By Request as to who may have asked for these songs, it's fun to presume (whether true or not) that the album's title denotes bandleader Mike Barone's tongue-in-cheek response to those bemused inebriates who, legend has it, sometimes stagger up to bandstands shouting, “Play 'Melancholy Baby'! Indeed, “My Melancholy Baby is the opening number, and the next time some besotted bystander pleads for its resurrection, I hope the maestro is savvy enough ...

182

Album Review

Mike Barone Big Band: Metropole

Read "Metropole" reviewed by Jack Bowers


In 1968, composer/arranger/trombonist Mike Barone recorded a hair-raising big-band album, Live at Donte's, then paused for 37 years before producing its spectacular sequel, Live 2005! Now, hard on the heels of that admirable endeavor, comes another masterwork from Barone, Metropole, recorded live last March at LA Valley College in Valley Glen, California.

To be fair, Barone spent nearly 35 of the years between those two albums writing for Doc Severinsen's exemplary Tonight Show band when Johnny Carson hosted the nightly ...

107

Album Review

The Mike Barone Big Band: Live 2005!

Read "Live 2005!" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Six years ago the CD reissue of Mike Barone's album Live at Donte's 1968 was number two on my annual list of the top ten jazz recordings. To say I was looking forward to Mike's next album would be an understatement. Here it is, only 37 years later (!), and I am delighted to report that time has neither impeded Barone's prolific creativity nor lessened his propensity to swing. In other words, Live 2005! is almost worth the 37-year wait. ...


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