395

Jim Kerl's Swing Session Big Band: With Thanks to My Friends

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Kerl's Swing Session Big Band: With Thanks to My Friends To the average listener, there are basically three kinds of big bands: those that are as good as advertised, those that aren't, and those that are much better than expected. Trumpeter Jim Kerl's Swing Session Big Band definitely belongs in the last category.

The reasons are clear. First, the musicianship on the band's inaugural album, With Thanks to my Friends, is beyond reproach; second, the charts, more than half of which were written by the incomparable Tom Kubis, are excellent; third, the solos, even though relatively concise, are invariably admirable; and fourth, the band lives up to its name by producing a session that really does swing.

Kerl has enlisted sidemen (and one woman) who can play, and the ensemble is sharp and synchronous throughout, starting with Kubis' frisky arrangement of the standard "Undecided and ending with a couple of Count Basie favorites, Ernie Wilkins' "Basie and Sammy Nestico's "Have a Nice Day. Kubis also arranged "Alley Cat," Juan Tizol's "Caravan, and another standard "Goody Goody, and wrote "Theme without a Movie and "Samba de los Me ("Somebody Loves Me, get it?).

There are four vocal tracks, two each by Melanie Vail ("Goody Goody, "Skylark ) and Joey Jewell ("Where or When, "I Wanna Be Around ). She's earnest, he's hip, and together they create a pleasant change of pace. The rest is instrumental, with Kerl soloing brightly on "Undecided, "Alley Cat and "Movie. Others who enlarge their small window of opportunity are alto Cliff Colon, trumpeter Brad Smith, tenor Ted Dortch, trombonist Dan Haeck, pianist Pat Thompson, and drummer Chris Monroe.

The album is dedicated to Randy Lintott who arranged studio time for the recording date and was a mainstay in the band's trumpet section. Lintott died in December shortly after the album was completed. Even though the playing time is relatively brief at roughly thirty-nine minutes, few of them are squandered. A largely commendable session that is, as noted, better than envisioned.


Track Listing: Undecided; Alley Cat; Goody Goody; Where or When; Caravan; Theme without a Movie; Samba de los Me; I Wanna Be Around; Skylark; Basie; Have a Nice Day (39:03).

Personnel: Jim Kerl: leader, trumpet. Ted Bowden, Randy Lintott, Pete Kirkman, Brad Smith: trumpet; Cliff Colon, J Charles (1, 2, 8-10), Rick Chapman (3-7, 11): alto sax; Ted Dortch, Terry Ward: tenor sax; Dan Wickham (1, 2, 8-10), Sheryl Clark (3-7, 11): baritone sax; Dan Haeck, Don Rupert, Jay Deffinbaugh: trombone; Ed Phillips: bass trombone; Pat Thompson: piano; John Giuliani: bass; Ken French (1, 2, 8-10), Chris Monroe (3-7, 11): drums; Melanie Vail, Joey Sewell, vocals.

Title: With Thanks to My Friends | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Northwest Recording Artists


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Skarkali" CD/LP/Track Review Skarkali
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Playgrounds" CD/LP/Track Review Playgrounds
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Nine Thoughts For One Word" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Thoughts For One Word
by John Ephland
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Through The Glass" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Glass
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Day By Day" CD/LP/Track Review Day By Day
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Of The Musical" CD/LP/Track Review Of The Musical
by Paul Naser
Published: December 29, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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