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Pointing Fingers... And Naming Names

Read "Pointing Fingers... And Naming Names" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As the countdown continues toward the last Big Band Report in June, the time has come to point fingers and name names--in other words, to compile a short list of contemporary jazz musicians who have risen above the norm to help make life more pleasurable for one devoted listener. These are, mind you, personal choices, and ...

The "Desert Island" Revisited

Read "The "Desert Island" Revisited" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Back in the last millennium, shortly after this column first saw the light of day, I posted a list of twenty “desert island" albums, those that would be snugly ensconced in a crash-proof, water-tight carrying case should yours truly ever be marooned on a miniature atoll with nothing to relieve the boredom save palm trees, coconuts, ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Peter Nero and the Philly Pops: Philadelphia, December 31, 2010

Read "Peter Nero and the Philly Pops: Philadelphia, December 31, 2010" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Peter Nero and The Philly Pops
“Swinging in the New Year"
The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Philadelphia, PA
December 31, 2010

Peter Nero is that rare musician who can negotiate between classical forms, the jazz idiom, popular music and light-hearted humor, generating great energy in his co-musicians and audiences. So ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Strike Up the (Unsung) Bands

Read "Strike Up  the (Unsung) Bands" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The big band era is known for producing a number of enormously successful ensembles whose leaders were household names: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Jimmie Lunceford, Fletcher Henderson, then on through Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, the brothers Jimmy Dorsey and Tommy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet, Artie Shaw, Harry James, Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Peter Nero: Fabled Pianist and Philly Pops Maestro

Read "Peter Nero: Fabled Pianist and Philly Pops Maestro" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Living legend Peter Nero is that rare musician equally at home with classical music, jazz, the American Songbook, the Broadway musical, movie themes and popular songs. Moreover, he is a masterful pianist, seasoned conductor, composer and arranger in all these genres. Just as exceptionally, he has become a cultural emblem, known to statesmen, entertainers, students, housewives ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Diane Schuur with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops at Kimmel Center

Read "Diane Schuur with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops at Kimmel Center" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

"88 Keys, a Big Band, and a Voice"
Celebrating 30 years of Peter Nero with the Philly Pops
The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Philadelphia, PA
April 24, 2009

On this night, one of five performances of the same concert event, conductor-pianist Peter Nero welcomed Diane Schuur to the stage as ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Brian Pastor Big Band: Common Men

Read "Common Men" reviewed by Edward Blanco

One sampling of trombonist Brian Pastor's Common Men will be enough to convince you that there's nothing common about the music you've just heard or the musicians that played it. It's an especially pleasurable big band outing and debut for The Brian Pastor Big Band, a nineteen-piece Philadelphia-based ensemble delivering one swinging performance.

The album includes ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Brian Pastor Big Band: Common Men

Read "Common Men" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Yes, I'll admit I'm growing old (the senior discount is now a given), but never too old, I hope, to appreciate a big band that's clearly bursting with energy and enthusiasm and swings like every note may be its last. By the way, that's a thumbnail sketch of trombonist Brian Pastor's Philadelphia-based ensemble and Common Men, ...