John Burnett & His Orch. Featuring Buddy DeFranco: Swingin' in the Windy City


Sign in to view read count
John Burnett & His Orch. Featuring Buddy DeFranco: Swingin' in the Windy City P>John Burnett has a day job as a jazz broadcaster for FM station WDCB in Chicago. In 1999 he put together a very fine orchestra made up of top notch Chicago musicians. Many of them have had considerable big band experience with Glenn Miller's, Barrett Deems and others. Several members also play in another Windy City-based aggregation, Lenny King's Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orch.

For this maiden album, Burnett has scored a coup by getting one of the true icons of jazz to join him, clarinetist Buddy DeFranco. Although just on three tracks, his presence clearly has inspired the members of the band to go all out. The result is an outstanding hours' worth of music. The session reminds one of Duke Ellington's road performances. You could dance to his music or just sit back and listen, or do both, and be happy. For those who lean toward the dancing, there's a haunting Mike Brown arrangement of "Stardust" recalling Artie Shaw, except the solos are taken by trumpet players Mike McGrath and Terry Connell with Connell reaching the stratosphere with a high note at the end. The band's rendition of "East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)" brings back images of bodies undulating across a dance floor at one of the great ballrooms in the 1930's and 40's. An album highlight is Hary Kozlowski's tender trombone solo on "My Foolish Heart". He gets a very unique sound out of that tricky to play instrument.

Non dancing listeners can revel in such high flying concert renditions of" Sing, Sing, Sing", "Corner Pocket" and "Shiny Stockings". DeFranco is on the first and holds back coming in until close to the end. His clarinet solo is not Benny Goodman's. Rather it reflects DeFranco's more modern and subtle approach with the clarinet which works well in this setting. Gene Krupa (cowbell and all) is played by Bill Byan who matches Krupa's hard driving swinging, but with fewer dramatics. For icing on the cake, "girl singer" Frieda Lee steps to the mike on a truly lovely interpretation of "Our Love Is Here to Stay" and an up beat "Deed I Do".

Slide Hampton's boppish "The Blues" ends the session and features DeFranco. This piece is just up his alley as he was one of the first to move the clarinet into the "new music" of the later 1940's and 1950's and one of the few to do it successfully. Here DeFranco shares solo honors with the trombone of David Gross. As the last track on the album, it is a fitting coda to almost an hour of exemplary, dynamic big band music. Highly recommended.

Track Listing: Corner Pocket; Deed I Do#; Sing, Sing, Sing*; Stardust; Our Love Is Here to Stay#; My Foolish Heart; Out of Nowhere*; I've Got the World on a String; Shiny Stockings; East of the Sun (and West of the Moon); Moten Swing; Hot Java Jump; The Blues*

Personnel: John Burnett - Leader; Buddy DeFranco* - Clarinet; Rich Corpolongo, David Creighton - Alto Sax; Frank Catalano, David Kublank -Tenor Sax; Bruce Mack - Baritone Sax; Terry Connell, Mike McGrath, Mike Shires, Jim Donovan - Trumpet; David Gross, Tom Stark, Hary Kozlowski, Bill Walsh - Trombone; Mike Flack - Piano; Geoff Lowe - Bass; Bill Byan - Drums; Frieda Lee# - Vocal

Title: Swingin' in the Windy City | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Chicago Lakeside Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Nomade Orquestra" CD/LP/Track Review Nomade Orquestra
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Onward
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Towards Language" CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Skarkali" CD/LP/Track Review Skarkali
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Atticus Live!" CD/LP/Track Review Atticus Live!
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 2, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.