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Big Band der Fachhochschule Furtwangen: Untitled

Jack Bowers By

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This is a demo disc (less than 25 minutes long) of another of Germany’s many “school bands,” this one devoted for the most part to the tried–and–true repertoire of the swing and early bop eras. The charts are pleasant but uncomplicated, the tempos generally too sluggish (and dare I say square?) for the material (it’s hard not to generate a few sparks on Sy Oliver’s “Opus One” or Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night in Tunisia,” but there aren’t any here). The band fares marginally better on “Tuxedo Junction” and “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” and is closer to the bluesy spirit of “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” The highlight, however, is the pretty ballad “Hello Again,” on which one of the saxophonists doubles admirably on flute and there are some engaging moments for trumpet and ensemble. The booklet lists ten tracks but that’s somewhat deceptive, as Track 1 (“Hallo”) is all of five seconds long, and Track 10 (“Tschüß”) one second longer. So what is left is eight tracks, none of which is memorable. On the other hand, these young people are playing Jazz, and that’s vastly preferable to most alternatives one can name. Who knows? There may be an embryonic Bird or Diz among them (unlikely, yes, but as Bogart said in The Maltese Falcon, that’s “the stuff that dreams are made of”), so keep the dream alive, kids— there’s no harm in that.

Track listing: Hallo; Opus One; A Night in Tunisia; Hello Again; Tuxedo Junction; Maniac; Shake, Rattle and Roll; I Can’t Stop Loving You; Good Times; Tsschüß (24:38).


Personnel:

Marco Konig, leader; Rolf Arping, Armin Kunz, Sabine Schairer, Mike Zetter, Roland Ziegler, trumpet; Andreas Sch

Title: Untitled | Year Released: 1999


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