271

Mike Vax Big Band: Sounds From The Road

Marcia Hillman By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Vax Big Band: Sounds From The Road Featuring no less than a dozen alumni from the Stan Kenton Orchestra, Mike Vax's Big Band displays the drive and spirit of the musical organization that crisscrossed the country from the 1940s.

All of the essentials of the Kenton sound are here. A tight and smooth sax section is heard on the opening "Alex's Tune." "La Virgen de la Macarena," the song played at bullfights, has a searing trumpet performance by the leader. There is an easygoing original by trumpeter Steve Huffsteter entitled "Mr. Natural," featuring Alex Murzyn's laidback tenor sax. A bright-sounding trombone section is highlighted on "Boney" where pianist Bob Florence (who passed away four days after the band returned home from this 2008 Midwestern excursion) delivers a notable statement. Kenton's own dreamy arrangement of "I'm Glad There Is You," with Bob Kafka playing the piano solo, is totally delicious ear candy. Then there is the requisite vocal by the "boy and girl" band singers (Scott Winfield and Ginger Berglund) on "A Slow Boat To China." One of the highlights is Bill Holman's dynamic arrangement of Lecuona's "Malaguena" for driving brass section. There is also a bonus track, recorded earlier, of "All The Things You Are," dedicated to, and featuring a fine solo by, Florence.

Though the material on this CD was recorded on the road at different venues with individual acoustics, the balance is good and sound is clean and clear. Stan Kenton, who died in August, 1979, decreed there would be no "ghost band" after he was gone, but this band is carrying on his legacy and one hopes he is somewhere smiling. All of the excitement that earmarked the original Kenton orchestra has been captured for a new generation.


Track Listing: Alex's Tune; Seascape; La Virgen de la Macarena; Mr. Natural; Pennies From Heaven; I'm Glad There Is You; On A Slow Boat To China; Boney; Baubles, Bangles & Beads; Autumn In New York; Variations On A Brazilian Folk Song; Oblivion; Malaguena; All The Things You Are.

Personnel: Mike Vax: leader, trumpet; Kim Richmond: soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, flute; Pete Galio: tenor saxophone, flute; Alex Murzyn: tenor saxophone, flute; Keith Kaminski: baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, flute; Scott Peterson: baritone saxophone (2, 8, 10); Joel Kaye: baritone saxophone, bass saxophone, flute; Dennis Noday: trumpet; Carl Saunders: trumpet; Steve Huffsteter: trumpet; Don Rader: trumpet; Dan Fava: trumpet (2, 8, 10); Roy Wiegand: trombone; Dale DeVoe: trombone; Scott Whitfield: trombone; Curtis Fox: trombone (2,8,10); Kenny Shroyer: bass trombone; Mike Suter: bass trombone, tuba; Bob Florence: piano (2, 8, 10, 14); Bob Kafka: piano (1, 3-7, 9, 11-13); Chris Symer: bass; Gary Hobbs: drums; Dee Huffsteter: Latin percussion; Scott Winfield: vocal; Ginger Berglund: vocal.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Summit Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Sign of the Crow" CD/LP/Track Review Sign of the Crow
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Mundo" CD/LP/Track Review Mundo
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Miniatures" CD/LP/Track Review Miniatures
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "Triadic Episode" CD/LP/Track Review Triadic Episode
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "Open The Curtains" CD/LP/Track Review Open The Curtains
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Mount Meander" CD/LP/Track Review Mount Meander
by John Sharpe
Published: November 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!