Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

305

The Ed Palermo Big Band: Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Ed Palermo first saw Frank Zappa performing in 1969, and that was to become a life-altering vision which would enlarge his perspective of what music could and should be. The fact that he migrated to jazz and picked up the saxophone while in university a few years later did not change the effect that Zappa wrought. He put the vision to good use, shaping Zappa's tunes for his big band. Palermo's first recording of the music was predictably called Plays the Music of Frank Zappa (Astor Place, 1997).

Zappa's music has been merged with jazz before, but Palermo brings in a distinct touch with his arrangements, which have a sense of adventure and a sly sense of humour. In doing so, he not only evokes Zappa's zany intelligence, he gives the music a tantalising body and a scintillating soul.

RDNZL lends itself perfectly to a big band arrangement. Palermo's chart opens the vent for five soloists and gives interplay and dialogue a place in the heartland. The ensemble lines of the horns are as smooth as silk, but the soloists cut a deep groove, led by Palermo, who nips at the melodic line on the alto saxophone. Charles Gordon is buttery on the trombone, a fine contrast made all the more evident when Palermo returns. The constant change of texture and pace turn this into a delicious treat.

A bit of funk from the organ of Ted Kooshian and the rocking pummel of the horns are fine harbingers of what is to come on "Gumbo Variations. However, Dave Riekenberg adds the essence: his tenor saxophone spews lines that are at first flinty, before they go into a trajectory, wailing and swinging and creating a host of flaming ideas. In comes Charlie Restivo rocking out on the guitar, embellishing his lines with feedback and reverb. The heat is on and it never cools off.

"Sleep Dirt has an Old World charm, the mood a showcase for Phil Chester. He plays the soprano sax with the gentle air of a minstrel and does not let go of that pulse, even as the other horns churn the tempo. Yet he has an ace up his horn, unleashing a turbulent blast when the brass comes eddying in again.

Palermo shows that a big band and jazz can do credit to Zappa—and do it really well.

Track Listing: RDNZL; Take your Clothes Off When You Dance; Dwarf Nebula Processional March & Dwarf Nebula; Pound For A Brown On The Bus; Sleep Dirt; Gumbo Variations; Mom And Dad/Oh No; Moggio.

Personnel: Paul Adamy: electric bass; Bob Quaranta: piano; Ray Marchica: drums; Ted Kooshian: Kurzweil; Cliff Lyons: alto saxophone, clarinet; Phil Chester: alto & soprano saxophones, flute, piccolo; Bill Straub: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Ben Kono: tenor saxophone, flute; Barbara Cifelli: baritone saxophone; Charles Gordon: trombone; Joe Fiedler: trombone; Matt Ingman: bass trombone; Ronnie Buttacavoli: trumpet; John Hines: trumpet; Carl Restivo: vocals, guitar; Ed Palermo: arranger, alto saxophone.

Title: Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jun10Mon
Ed Palermo
Iridium
New York, NY
Jul15Mon
Ed Palermo Big Band
Iridium
New York, NY
Aug12Mon
Ed Palermo
Iridium
New York, NY

Related Articles

Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
Theia
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019
Read Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You Album Reviews
Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You
By Dan McClenaghan
May 24, 2019
Read Nexus Album Reviews
Nexus
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
Luminária
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019