The Vezinho/Ward Big Band has been thrilling audiences in and around Atlantic City since 1982 and unless I get corrected, this is the debut CD 'SMILE'. The standard has been set, the next CD, and surely there must eventually be another, will be unlikely to better this performance, I will be more than content if it equals the production values, the sound, the style and quality of what must be one of the finest big bands around. Were I offering star ratings , this one would be '*****' (plus).
We have a mixture of original and standard titles all in a swinging contemporary big band style. No sharp edges to this music, the lyrical content of these remarkable takes on both standards and originals paramount.
This is my first introduction to the trumpet artistry and lead playing of Jim Ward and Joe Scanella. I do hope they get into the schools and teach their technique. Their sound is full, beautifully formed and pitched perfectly, even at extreme high register the quality of their sound blends with the section. The album is a joy from whatever perspective.
This has got to be a must have.