This CD by German bandleader, Englebert Wröbel is aptly titled "Sophisticated Swing" after the Mitchell Parish/ Will Hudson hit of 1937. Dan Barrett brought the band to the attention of Arbors and he appears as a guest artist on eight of the fifteen tracks.
The leader is one of the finest European reed players I've heard in some time. His clarinet expeditions are hair-raising. The entire band is great and I was truly impressed by the beautiful guitar stylings of Rolf Marx. He is featured on the Django Reinhardt composition "Manoir des Reves." A particular delight was finding Sammy Kahn's "Shoe Shine Boy" included on this recording. Wröbel's clarinet is featured to great advantage with heavy backing by pianist Chris Hopkins in stride style.
Swing fans will appreciate the broad selection of material including Thou Swell, 9:20 Special, Rose Room, New Orleans, Hop, Skip & Jump and the Charlie Shavers showpiece "El Salon de Gutbucket."
Dan Barrett is always enjoyable and his trombone solo on "Nine O'Clock Beer" is a fine example. The entire session is original and there is no attempt to use the tired stock arrangements that have been beaten to death over the decades.
This album has musicianship, originality and as the title says "Sophistication." You'll like it!