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There's nothing quite like a good singer backed by a big band that swings like mad, but can treat a ballad with gentle respect. Connecticut's Rob Zappulla is the singer, and long time band leader out of New York, Lew Anderson, provides the backing with sparkling arrangements. While this is not Anderson's top rated rehearsal band, which plays once a week at Birdland, the players are still quite acceptable. In addition to his singing, Zappulla stars with the trumpet and flugelhorn. His boyhood idol was Herb Alpert, one of the most successful instrumental performers in the history of popular music. You hear some of that special Alpert sound in Zappulla solos as on "If You Could See Me Now". The singer does well with both the slow and up tempo material. But he shines especially on the latter as heard on a bouncing "Sunday in New York". The intonation slips a bit from time to time on the slower ballads. But the good voice and solid horn playing would go for naught if it weren't for Lew Anderson's well-constructed charts. They consistently give the strong baritone a very accommodating cushion to float upon. There's also room made for solos by members of the band. Alto saxophonist Jon Ball takes a nice stint on "I'll Take Romance" and Paul Riggio excels with his French Horn on "Pure Imagination" to mention a couple. Visit Ron at www.bignoisenow.com/zappulla.htm.
Track Listing: Something Makes Me Want to Dance with You; With a Song in My Heart; Day In, Day Out; Never Let Me Go; I Love You; On a Clear Day; I'll Take Romance; Pure Imagination; The Song Is You; There's a Small Hotel; Goody, Goody; If You Could See Me Now; Sunday in New York; All of You; Every Time We Say Goodbye
Personnel: Rob Zappulla - Vocals; Dave Trigg, Tony Kadleck, Dave Spier, John Ragan, Hank Zorn - Trumpets: Steve Bleifuss, Leroy Loomer, Dave Sporny, Dan Innaimo - Trombones; Paul Riggio, Eric Davis -French Horns; Jon Ball, John Mastroianni, Kris Jensen, Joe Meo, Lisa Ladone - Woodwinds; James Argiro; Piano; Rich Goldstein - Guitar; Tom Pietrycha - Bass; Paul Hannah - Drums
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.