In the last half century popular American music has been dominated by groups comprised principally of electronic rhythm instruments, amplified lead guitars, augmented bass guitars, multi-unit percussion kits, and elaborate keyboard setups, which have borne the musical load alongside various vocal soloists and ensembles. Occasionally, we might hear an eight-bar solo from a tenor saxophonist, rarely one from a trumpeter, almost never from a trombonist, and at virtually no time from an arranged, harmonized horn section.
Following the onslaught of rock music and electronic rhythm instruments came a virtual abandonment of traditional band instruments whose sound enriched all American musics from the blues, Dixieland, and swing styles that characterized the hits of the initial recordings in the 20's to the vocal and instrumental pop standards, which built the record business into a major industry.
Daring departures from the dictates of powerful A & R recording executives occurred when Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago
, and Tower of Power
incorporated acoustic brass instruments and achieved considerable success. Now we have a new groupVinyl Hampdin-turning again to an album of arranged orchestral music with a compelling result.
The group's debut CD Red
, featuring arrangements by trombonist/composer/arranger Steve Wiest
and sporting alumni musicians from the bands of Maynard Ferguson
and Carmen McRae
, produces an epic session. The melodies of Stevie Wonder
("Superstition"), Bonnie Raitt
("The Road's My Middle Name"), and Paul McCartney
("My Love") obtain new dimension with Wiest's glowing arrangements.
Hearing from veterans such as trumpeter Frank Greene, baritone saxophonist Art Bolton, tenor saxophonist/flutist Ray Herrman and trumpeter Frank David, along with accompanying vocalist Lisa Dodd and a powerful rhythm section in arrangement after blockbuster arrangement of orchestral richness constitutes a long sought-for experience for listeners of all music.
Track Listing: Superstition; Gottaluvit; One Song; The Roads My Middle Name; Pay for It; Flowers on the Wall; Billions; I Just Want to Celebrate; Diamonds; My Love; Use Me.
Personnel: Lisa Dodd: vocals;
Stockton Helbing: drums;
Ryan Davidson: guitar;
Eric Gunnison: keyboards; Gerald Stockton: bass; Frank David Greene: trumpet; Ray Herrmann: tenor saxophone Art Bouton: bari tone saxophone; Steve Wiest: trombone, composer-arranger.
| Year Released: 2018
| Record Label: Self Produced