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Easy As It Gets by John Sheridan's Dream Band

Easy As It Gets is the fourth CD by John Sheridan’s Dream Band. In typical fashion, Sheridan digs deep into the archives of his own memory and comes up with an interesting group of musical treasures. Songs are drawn from a multitude of American composers representing the 1920s through the 1950s.

While some songs will be recognized immediately, there are other seldom-heard gems like "Devil May Care" penned by Bob Dorough in 1953. We like John Sheridan’s own title tune "Easy As It Gets." The gently swinging tune features some fine work by tenor man Scott Robinson, cornetist Randy Reinhart and clarinetist Ron Hockett. Hockett is also featured on Ellington’s pretty "Morning Glory" and is a clarinetist we should watch in the future. His work with Jim Cullum’s band on NPR’s "Live From The Landing" is spectacular.

Rebecca Kilgore handles the vocals on eight of the fifteen tracks. Her voice can often be heard on NPR and many Arbors albums. Kilgore has a very special affinity for quality vintage material. She shines on "Spring Cleaning" and "You Leave Me Breathless."

Trombonist, Russ Phillips, steps up front for the Dream Band’s version of the McKinney’s Cotton Pickers standby "Cherry." Phillips bares his soul with a flawless attack echoing Jack Teagarden and Cutty Cutshall.

Assisted by Scott Robinson, Ron Hockett, Randy Reinhart and Russ Phillips, the leader grabs the microphone for a vocal reading of "You Lucky People, You." The old Bing Crosby song takes on an Eddie Condon feel.

Most folks over fifty will recall "The Gypsy" as recorded by the Ink Spots in 1945. The Dream Band arrangement features Scott Robinson’s tenor and the leader’s piano in a memorable performance. Becky Kilgore returns a knockout version of "When We’re Alone" also known as "Penthouse Serenade." Robinson’s sultry saxophone passage is equally sympathetic to the spirit of Will Jason’s and Val Burton’s 1931 melody.

Randy Reinhart is featured on Cole Porter’s "You Do Something To Me." The 1929 hit originally appeared on Broadway’s "Fifty Million Frenchmen." The versatile cornetist delivers the up-tempo piece in his customary "hot" style with, perhaps, a dip of the horn to Bobby Hackett.

Easy As It Gets will appeal to fans of swing, traditional jazz and folks who love the "old chestnuts." Sound samples are available at the label’s website.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: John Sheridan's Dream Band
  • CD Title: Easy As It Gets
  • Genre: Big Band / Swing
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Arbors Jazz
  • Tracks: Devil May Care, Easy As It Gets, Spring Cleaning, Morning Glory, You Leave Me Breathless, Cherry, It’s So Peaceful In The Country, You Lucky People You, The Gypsy, Someone Like You, When We’re Alone (Penthouse Serenade), You Do Something To Me, Me Myself And I, Dedicated To You, I’m Sitting On Top Of The World.
  • Musicians: John Sheridan (leader, piano, vocal #8), Randy Reinhart (cornet), Russ Phillips (trombone), Ron Hockett (clarinet), Scott Robinson (tenor sax), Phil Flanigan (bass), Bob Leary (guitar), Joe Ascione (drums), Rebecca Kilgore (vocals on tracks # 3,5,7,10,11,13,14,15).
  • Rating: Five Stars
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