Described as the best kept secret in Washington State, this remarkable big band lets us all in on the secret, introducing itself to a wider audience with a performance that stuns me into disbelief.
This is not a student band, apparently some of the top musicians in the Washington State area have developed a relationship with Pierce College, rehearsing there and eventually producing this commercially available debut recording. I am prepared to be challenged on the detail here by the way.
For my sins I do not know any of the musicians, what I do know is that they wowed the IAJE membership at the recent convention, producing a thrilling 'take no prisoners' set that left an audience breathless.
The Director Norm Wallen seems to have the habit of pursuing the most dynamic arrangements by America's top arrangers and applying his own signature, adding a stinger. It may be an unexpected trumpet solo, extending a shout chorus, whatever, it does make the arrangements unique.
The tracks: Daily Dance - Bill Holman
Du Velours - John Ward
Harlem Nocturne - Bret Zvacek
Samba De Rollins - Don Menza
All the Things You Are - Kenton
All the Things You Ain't - Mark Thome
Between the Devil And The Deep Blue Sea - Neihaus
Burbank Sackbutt Brigade - Roger Holmes
Stompin' At The Savoy - Bill Holman
Daily Dance, sets the mood at an unbelievable tempo and unreal demands on a superlative trumpet section. A rarely heard arrangement possibly because of it's extreme nature. Happily the trumpet section performs magnificently managing to cope with the it's task showing excellent intonation at all times. So much could be said about this new CD. The trombone of Richard Lopez, the exhilarating rhythm section including a superhuman effort by drummer Dale Drenner.
Rather than sitting down relaxing to some music, this is music to have a nervous breakdown to. Live dangerously, buy the Pierce CD.