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Flight of the Bumblebee by Mike Barone Big Band

Mike Barone, big band leader, composer, arranger and trombonist, notes on the jacket of his fifth Big Band album as leader, Flight Of The Bumblebee "Rimsky-Korsakov is turning over in his grave as we speak or maybe he isn’t." The energy level of the band may be enough to raise the dead, I’m sure Bruce Lee is kickin’ to his theme song for the hit TV series the Green Hornet. The band is flying high on every tune of this live Barone Big Band offering.

The majority of the songs, twelve tracks in total, are Barone originals. The album title track "Flight Of The Bumblebee" and "Avalon" being the two exceptions. The original compositions are hard hitting, heavy swinging tunes. Some may start out pretty as in "The Other Half" or even in jazz waltz mode as, "Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey" but in typical Barone fashion he throws in a catch, a time shift or just pure fire.

The soloists do a great job of building excitement. Trumpets especially, care of Bob Summers, Adolfo Acosta, Tony Bonsera, Mark Lewis and Pete DeSiena. Bob Summers blows superb on "Lobbers No More" the liner notes state the song is written on the chord changes of "Just Friends". Andy Langham takes a piano solo to set the swinging mood, while Tom Luer follows Summers with a contrasting smooth as honey solo on alto saxophone.

Other tunes that swing hard "Limes Away" and "Sprung Time" the trumpet solo on this one cook’s care of Mark Lewis. The tune features a fresh sounding baritone saxophone solo by Brian Williams swinging hot and heavy with bebop sensibilities. The drumming of Bob Leatherbarrow keeps the band in the groove while bassist David Tranchina is solid throughout. Flight Of The Bumblebee by the Mike Barone Big Band is another fine offering from a tight, well led band that puts it all out there.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Mike Barone Big Band
  • CD Title: Flight of the Bumblebee
  • Genre: Big Band / Swing
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Rhubarb Records
  • Rating: Three Stars
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