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Trees by Midiri Brothers Sextet

In the last fifteen years, the Midiri Brothers have performed at the Rainbow Room in New York City, the Taj Mahal, Sands, Showboat and Caesars casinos in Atlantic City as well as other sights and stimulations along the eastern and western seaboards.

The Midiri Brothers music is an appealing stroll down a boardwalk when it was in its heyday. You can almost imagine polka-dotted skirts swaying and bell-bottomed sailors staring. Rolling waves remain the backdrop as swing music dances in the breeze, like the lingering salty air and the decaying scent of seaweed. There is a multitude of sounds but the rhythm of the scene is a sweet lilt to the footstep.

This is a dreamily nostalgic perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in the first half of the 20th century. Kurt Weill’s normally wistful and weary ‘September Song’ has an eerie, placid reading. ‘Oodles of Noodles’ feels like a soundtrack to a silent film of a taxi cab clatter and collision at Broadway and Fifth Avenue. ‘I Hear as in a Dream’ is divided into two parts. The first is a slow and sweet, almost mournful. Bittersweet thoughts. While the second is much more upbeat, it still distantly retains a certain bitterness beneath the smiling façade. ‘Daydream’ is pure Strayhorn; it’s gorgeously romantic that makes one want to snuggle up to someone walking down that boardwalk just as the sun dips below the horizon and the brisk winds start to pick up.

In sum, a well-played series of pieces that conjure up an urban culture that has since been transformed into something that is much harsher and more complicated. Ah progress.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Midiri Brothers Sextet
  • CD Title: Trees
  • Genre: Big Band / Swing
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Midiri Music
  • Tracks: Let’s Go, Every Evening, September Song, Oodles of Noodles, I Hear as in a Dream, Trees, Twelfth Street Rag, April Kisses, Roses of Picardy, Daydream, Jitterbug Waltz, Fascinating Rhythm
  • Musicians: Joe Midiri (clarinet, saxophone). Paul Midiri (vibraphone, marimba, trombone), Pat Mercuri (guitar), Dan Tobias (trumpet), Gary Cattley (bass, tuba), Jim Lawlor (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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