Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

271

Mike Vax Big Band: Sounds From The Road

Marcia Hillman By

Sign in to view read count
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 and Beads; Autumn in New York; Variations on a Brazilian Folk Song; Oblivion; Malaguena; All the Things You Are.

Personnel: Kim Richmond: soprano sax, alto sax, flute; Pete Gallio: tenor sax, flute; Alex Murzyn: tenor sax, flute; Keith Kaminski: bari sax, alto sax, flute; Scott Peterson: bari sax; Joel Kaye: bari sax, bass sax, flute; Mike Vax (leader), Dennis Noday, Carl Saunders, Steve Huffsteter, Don Rader, Dan Fava: trumpet and flugelhorn; Roy Wiegand, Dale DeVoe, Scott Whitfield, Curtis Fox: trombone; Kenny Shroyer: bass trombone; Mike Suter: bass trombone, tuba; Bob Florence, Bob Kafka: piano; Chris Symer: bass; Gary Hobbs: drums; Dee Huffsteter: Latin percussion; Scott Whitfield, Ginger Berglund: vocals.

Title: Sounds from the Road | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Summit Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Solo a Genova CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Little Giant Still Life" CD/LP/Track Review Little Giant Still Life
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read "Steve Lacy’s Saxophone Special Revisited" CD/LP/Track Review Steve Lacy’s Saxophone Special Revisited
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 29, 2017
Read "In The Past" CD/LP/Track Review In The Past
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 2, 2017
Read "Blueberry Ash" CD/LP/Track Review Blueberry Ash
by Barry O'Sullivan
Published: August 6, 2017
Read "Bringin' It" CD/LP/Track Review Bringin' It
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 8, 2017