All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

11

The Flying Horse Big Band: The Bat Swings!

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Although The Bat Swings! could well be taken for a baseball analogy, the focus of this third CD by the University of Central Florida's high-powered Flying Horse Big Band is on music associated with the campy Batman TV series from the late 1960s that starred Adam West as the masked superhero and Burt Ward as his sidekick, Robin. The album embodies themes by the celebrated composers Nelson Riddle, Neal Hefti and Paul Francis Webster with arrangements by Michael Philip Mossman, Harry Allen and FHBB director Jeff Rupert (two each), Mark Taylor and UCF faculty member Per Danielsson. Mossman also arranged the five concise (four-second or less) "Bat-Spins" that separate a number of tracks.

In spite of the inescapable variations in technique and tempo, the one constant is swing as the arrangers splice together essential themes and incidental music from the series to sparkle in a big-band format and the ensemble digs in hard to make it happen. The session is all Batman all the way save for Rupert's walking arrangement of the "Spider-Man Theme" and the gospel-leaning finale, "Amazing Grace," dedicated to frequent UCF guest artist and acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan. Speaking of guest artists, the band welcomes four of them but only one, organist Richard Drexler, solos (on "Spider-Man" and "Amazing Grace"). The others are trumpeter Justin Diaz, percussionist Jeff Moore and vibraphonist / percussionist Marty Morell.

The album opens with Mossman's sassy "Batmobile to Airport" and continues apace with "Batman Riddles the Riddler" and the easygoing "Batman Blues" before digressing to "Spider-Man." The colorful, time-shifting "Kitka" salutes Batman's nemesis / love interest Catwoman, the mid-tempo "Holy-Hole-in-the-Doughnut" Robin's off-the-wall declamations such as "holy flypaper" and "leaping lumbago." Mossman appends an Afro-Cuban luster to "Murcielago en la Cueva" (A Bat in the Cave) before "Amazing Grace" and guitarist Ryan Waszmer ring down the curtain. There are other enticing solos along the way by Waszmer, alto saxophonist Dylan Young, tenors Andy Garcia and Dylan Hannon, trombonist Christian Herrera, trumpeter Aidan Lakshman, pianist Mudel Honore and especially baritone Saul Dautsch ("Airport," "Batman Blues").

While it may not quite keep pace with the swagger or bombast of its iconic namesake, The Bat Swings! does what it set out to do, which is to swing with the sort of POW! that Batman (and Robin) would have applauded.

Track Listing: Batmobile to Airport; Bat-Spin; Batman Riddles the Riddler; Bat-Spin; Batman Blues; Spider-Man Theme; Bat-Spin; Kitka; Bat-Spin; Holy-Hole-in-the-Doughnut; Bat-Spin; Murcielago en la Cueva (featuring Batman Theme); Amazing Grace (for Ira Sullivan).

Personnel: Jeff Rupert: director; Courtland Beyer: trumpet; Taylor Grubbs: trumpet; Aidan Lakshman: trumpet; Marco Rivera: trumpet; Kristian Rey: alto sax, flute; Dylan Young: alto sax; Andy Garcia: tenor sax; Dylan Hannan: tenor sax; Saul Dautch: baritone sax; Matt Kerr: trombone; Christian Herrera: trombone; Brian Morris: trombone; Juwan Murphy: trombone; Mudel Honore: piano, Hammond organ; Ryan Waszmer: guitar; Luther Burke: acoustic, electric bass; Gus D’Angelo: drums. Special Guests – Justin Diaz: trumpet; Richard Drexler: Hammond organ (6, 13); Jeff Moore: bongos (1, 12); Marty Morell: vibraphone (1, 12), congas (3), shaker (10).

Title: The Bat Swings! | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Flying Horse Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Bat Swings!

The Bat Swings!

Flying Horse Records
2018

buy
Imagination

Imagination

Self Produced
2017

buy
Do That Again

Do That Again

Flying Horse Records
2013

buy
From Memphis to Mobile

From Memphis to Mobile

Random Act Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Vera CD/LP/Track Review
Vera
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 18, 2018
Read In Motion CD/LP/Track Review
In Motion
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Marshian Time Slip CD/LP/Track Review
Marshian Time Slip
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Four On The Road CD/LP/Track Review
Four On The Road
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Fish Out of Water (Deluxe Edition)" CD/LP/Track Review Fish Out of Water (Deluxe Edition)
by John Kelman
Published: June 15, 2018
Read "Long Story Short" CD/LP/Track Review Long Story Short
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "The Velvet Rage" CD/LP/Track Review The Velvet Rage
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2018
Read "Ravensburg" CD/LP/Track Review Ravensburg
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Cosmic Playground" CD/LP/Track Review Cosmic Playground
by Don Phipps
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "Fukushima" CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 1, 2017