134

Max Greger and the RIAS Big Band: Swingtime

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
There are times when an album’s title is remarkably descriptive, and this is one of them. This is all about swinging, with Germany’s RIAS Big Band providing the backdrop for guest soloist Max Greger, an Earl Bostic/Tiny Bradshaw/Arnett Cobb–style tenor saxophonist from the “blow hard and blow ’em away” school of straight–from–the–shoulder ad–libs. Although his name appears above the marquee, Greger actually solos on only four numbers, and is abetted along the way by trumpeters Benny Bailey and Till Brönner, tenor saxophonist Walter Gauchel, trombonists Dan Gottschall and John Marshall, clarinetist Norbert Nagel, pianist Wolfgang Köhler, guitarist Ingo Cramer and drummer Holger Nell, among others. The American expatriate Bailey is front and center on five selections (including his features, “Perdido,” “Li’l Darlin’” and “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”), Gauchel on six and Brönner on three. This is for the most part familiar Swing Era fare, and the RIAS ensemble consumes the various entrees with seamless efficiency, as it does the four newer songs — “Hot Seats,” “Festival,” “Nice and Sweet” and “B.P.” Greger is heard on three of the first four tracks (“One O’Clock Jump,” “Night Train,” “Misty”) and doesn’t reappear until track 13 (“Nice and Sweet”). He’s almost upstaged by Gauchel who scores a clean hit every time at bat (including a feisty flute solo on “Nice and Easy”). If there’s a downside it lies in an overabundant use of reverb, noticeable throughout but especially disconcerting on Greger’s solos. But that’s a minor drawback, really, and is easily offset by the quality of the music, which is consistently high–grade. For lovers of big–band swing, a colorful, swing–laden session that accomplishes exactly what it proposes.

Track listing: One O’Clock Jump; Night Train; It Don’t Mean a Thing; Misty; On the Sunny Side of the Street; Hot Seats; Creole Love Call; Perdido; Moten Swing; Festival; Alexander’s Ragtime Band; Li’l Darlin’; Nice and Sweet; B.P.; I’m Getting Sentimental Over You; Just in Time; King Porter Stomp (57:57).

Personnel:

Max Greger, Norbert Nagel, Klaus Marmulla, Walter Gauchel, Gregoire Peters, Rolf von Nordenskj

| Record Label: Polydor Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Untitled" CD/LP/Track Review Untitled
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Chapters Of My Life" CD/LP/Track Review Chapters Of My Life
by James Nadal
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Tributango" CD/LP/Track Review Tributango
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Further Explorations" CD/LP/Track Review Further Explorations
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Pass It On" CD/LP/Track Review Pass It On
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!