Few times ever do I get excited about a project right out of the jewel case but it can happen and did. The George Gee Big Band along with GJazz Records has released a 2004 gem when it comes to the big band resonance and the confidence it reverberates. Featuring the salient voice of Carla Cook this disc is sizzling and introduces that landmark sound with the quality it deserves.
Credit goes out to Frank Foster as the arranger and composer. Also, credited with original title cut Settin’ the Pace. Along with a multi talented ensemble of highly skilled troubadours, the whole project reaps of class! Ed Pazant, Marshall McDonald, Michael Hashim, Lance Bryant, Howard Johnson, Charles Stephens, Robert Trowers, Eddie Bert, Jack Jeffers, Walt Szymanski, Steve Wiseman, Shawn Edmonds, Mark McGowan, Jon Cowherd, Joe Cohn, Daryl Hall, Willand Dyson, and Renato Thoms put together this truly exquisite lesson in the big band genre.
Lover Come Back to Me features that sensual tone of Carla Cook. She gently but with forethought puts that emotion of heartbreak in this performance. The brass tones in this cut trigger the appropriate emotions nicely. Ms. Cook also vocalizes in Autumn Leaves and The Very Thought Of You.
Flutes successfully coat the musical canvas engaged around In A Sentimental Mood. A ballad that enforces the elegance of the big band era as each tone emulates the style of those thrilling days of yesteryear. Three solos are included in this track.
The whole project not only has the feel of Foster but a strong scent of Basie, concluding that this fine project is a complement both in style and respect for their work.
Karl Stober is an international freelance columnist and broadcaster who can be reached at Karl Stober . Karl can also be reached at 1-802-380-6065.