383

John Burnett Swing Orchestra: West of State Street/East of Harlem

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
John Burnett Swing Orchestra: West of State Street/East of Harlem The John Burnett Orchestra specializes in forties style big band swing. That is a comfortable zone to be in with the calibre of musicians that Burnett has in his band. They conceptualize the music of the period perfectly, playing with both warmth and verve. What makes it all the more appealing is the deep emotion and wholehearted commitment they bring to the music.

Burnett has chosen from a diverse blend of composers for this recording, and gives the music that big band sound with rare accomplishment. The arrangements sing with feeling, while the soloists add spirit and the sinew. It is all perfectly cast for this delightful live recording.

Trumpeter Randy Sandke is the special guest and shows his mettle on "Night in Tunisia." The tune swings with abandon, set in motion by the brass. Sandke is pithy in his phrasing yet has a lissom air, and when he takes that final note that rises high into the air, he has stamped his class indelibly. The other soloist, Anthony Bruno on tenor saxophone, has a beefy tone, but also a consummate way of letting the melody seep in and hold sway.

New Orleans time comes as they go "Struttin' With Some Barbecue." Sure 'nuff it's hot stuff with Sandke once more turning on the heat which is further stoked to a nice intensity by Bryan Scott on trombone.

Count Basie has to find space and he does with "One O'Clock Jump." The Orchestra lights up the tune, playing dazzling ensemble lines with the soloists characterizing the melody through virtuosic improvisations.

A singer is brought in to make the lyrics come alive, and Frieda Lee documents her presence well on two songs: the melancholy "Anytime, Anyday, Anywhere" and "Ten Cents A Dance." Her voice is full of pathos and passion on the first, and throbs with pain and delusion on the second.

Tony Pons, whose main instrument is the trumpet, gets a chance to show his singing ability on "Hello Dolly." He does a Louis Armstrong vocal in an affectionate way. Pons is fun and judging by the reaction, he communicates that effectively to the audience.

Burnett and his talented cast of musicians have given forties swing a resplendent body and a glowing soul.


Track Listing: Flight Of The Foo Birds; Groovin

Personnel: John Burnett: leader; Frieda Lee: vocals; John Moran: guitar; Nick Mazarella: alto saxophone; Bob Frankich: alto saxophone; Anthony Bruno: tenor saxophone; Doug Stone: tenor saxophone; Bruce Mack: baritone saxophone; Greg Duncan: trumpet; Terry Connell: trumpet; Mike McGrath: trumpet; Tony Pons: trumpet, vocals; Randy Sandke: trumpet; Bryant Scott: trombone; Adam Gross: trombone; Dana Legg: trombone; Bill Walsh: bass trombone; Mark Burnell: piano; Paul Martin: bass instrument; Bill Byan: drums.

Title: West of State Street/East of Harlem | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Delmark Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Then and Now" CD/LP/Track Review Then and Now
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 28, 2017
Read "Day After Day" CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Like, Strange" CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Troy Collins
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "Wee +3" CD/LP/Track Review Wee +3
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Outside The Comfort Zone" CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Alfa" CD/LP/Track Review Alfa
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 10, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.