The Boilermaker Jazz Band describes themselves as "an ecstatically fun band performing authentic hot jazz, ragtime, and swing." They're not kidding. Their music is energetic and well-played, and just has to be fun for both players and audience.
Clarinetist Paul Cosentino founded the group in 1988 while at Carnegie Mellon University. The Boilermakers play everywhere from radio to concerts to swing dances. They've recorded six CDs, including an award-winning CD for children. (If only more bands would attempt to pass jazz on to future generations!)
"Give Me Your Telephone Number" was recorded in Pittsburgh in January 2004. The session blends a lively mix of mid-tempo standards and up-tempo swingers and the flavor is definitely New Orleans and Chicago. Cosentino's mellow sound on his antique Albert system clarinet and Jennie Luvv's period vocals will transport you to the twenties and thirties when most of the tunes were introduced. Cosentino and pianist Mark Kotishion also show they can sing as well as play!
There's a whole lot of good listening here! The title tune was composed by trombone master J.C. Higginbottom. The interesting chart salutes J.C. appropriately by using twin trombones. On "Minor Swing" by Django Reinhardt, the band really cuts loose. The tom-tom/clarinet sequences wlll take you back to "Sing, Sing, Sing" while Django would have appreciated the guitar solo by Eric Emmons. Cole Porter's "De-Lovely," perhaps anticipating this summer's film, showcases Paul, Jennie and more fine guitar. Gerry Gagnon's gutbucket trombone and sparkling piano by Kotishion are put to good use on "I'm Gonna Lock My Heart"while the Boilermakers prove there's a lot of life left in "Don't Go Away Nobody" from 1900. The session ends with a romantic trip to 1944 and "I'm Making Believe,"the most recent song on this CD.
Mariss Jansons, maestro of the Pittsburgh Symphony, summed it up. BRAVO!