98

Dan Buegeleisen and the Carma Big Band: West Coast Alternative

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
After a promising start, this studio date by trumpeter Dan Buegeleisen and the San Francisco–based CARMA Big Band loses momentum while backing vocalist Kitty Margolis (“My Shining Hour,” “It Never Entered My Mind”), labors for more than ten minutes through the album’s yawn–producing showpiece, “Goodbye and Forever Miles” (which should have been recognized as the “weakest link” and voted off the playlist as such) and, quite simply, never fully recovers. Besides “Miles,” Buegeleisen wrote half a dozen other tunes (all of the instrumentals), leads with the most persuasive (“West Coast Alternative”) but doesn’t follow up with anything nearly as engaging. His arrangements for Margolis and singer Clairdee (“I Wish I Knew”) are fairly pedestrian (“Shining Hour” is the best of them) and “I Wish I Knew” actually sounds as if it’s pitched too low for Clairdee’s range (but I assume everyone knew what they were doing — or maybe they didn’t, as she sings only one chorus and doesn’t return after Buegeleisen’s trumpet solo). As for “It Never Entered My Mind,” anyone who tackles that Rodgers and Hart standard risks comparison with Sinatra’s version on the classic album In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, and there’s no way Margolis can compete with ’Ol Blue Eyes. Returning to the instrumentals, “Cavaradossi” and “Mr. B’s Blues” flow demurely along without generating any sparks, nor do the even–tempered solos by Chuck MacKinnon (flugel on “Cavaradossi,” trumpet on “B’s Blues”), pianist Jeff Labes or trombonist Jim Burr. “Rules of the Game” employs a funky rock–style beat with decorous statements by soprano Colin Wenhardt and MacKinnon on muted trumpet, while the grandiloquently named “Sanctity of a Sacred African River” includes bright soli for brass and reeds preceding John Burr’s steady cruise on electric piano. The album’s finale, “75 Beats per Minute,” is not what one would call a flag–waver; it’s more tone–poem than anything else, colorful in its own way but hardly breathtaking — nor is anything else the CARMA Big Band has to offer (CARMA, by the way, stands for Creative Artists and Musicians Alliance, which sounds like an admirable enterprise). In closing, we should say, as we always do when offering a less–than–glowing assessment, that this is one layman’s imperfect view, no more or less, and opinions may vary widely. Dr. Herb Wong, who knows a thing or three about big bands, is quite enthusiastic about this one in the liner notes, and you may find the CARMA irresistible. As for me, I’ll keep searching for another alternative.

Contact:www.corridorrecords.com


Track Listing: West Coast Alternative; My Shining Hour; It Never Entered My Mind; Goodbye and Forever Miles; Cavaradossi; Mr. B

Personnel: Dan Buegeleisen, composer, arranger, conductor, trumpet, piano. Tracks 1

| Record Label: Corridor Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Tangle" CD/LP/Track Review Tangle
by John Eyles
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Muddy Ditch" CD/LP/Track Review Muddy Ditch
by John Eyles
Published: April 7, 2016
Read "While We’re Still Young" CD/LP/Track Review While We’re Still Young
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 24, 2016
Read "Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1" CD/LP/Track Review Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Further Explorations" CD/LP/Track Review Further Explorations
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Butterflies Fly in Pairs" CD/LP/Track Review Butterflies Fly in Pairs
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 22, 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!