Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Swing Is Here (Dig)
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Latin Music
Listen to Samples
The Best of the Big Band Era's 2nd Wind
Mark E. Farrington | East Syracuse, NY | 05/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For swing, drive, harmonic deftness, precision of execution and sheer power of sound, I have always suspected that the greatest Big Bands were those of the late 50s-early 60s : the Basie "Atomic" band (which you can hear in the soundtracks of at least two Jerry Lewis flix); the Harry James band of c. 1957-61; the Woody Herman Herd of 1962-63 (i.e., the "Good Earth" band); and the Terry Gibbs "Dream Band" of 1959-61. In addition to this 1960 studio date, six live volumes' worth of the Dream Band have been released - and they are worth snapping up anywhere you can find them.
I first heard parts of this album in 1991, on a broadcast from a now defunct AM station out of Schenectady, NY...I had tuned into "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise" and could not get over the arrangement, the swing, the drive, the power, the everything-about-it. Then the DJ came on, lamenting that this album was long gone. Needless to say, a long quest began to find this album on CD or - when it was clear there "weren't no such animal" and might never be - a playable LP copy. Later on, I found the 2nd of those 6 live Dream Band volumes - the "Sundown" tracks of November '59. At least now I had "Softly" and my other Gibbs Big Band favorite, "My Reverie." (Those live versions are equally exciting, in a different way - and taken at tempos that are perhaps even more perfect - but I digress.)
So, for those of us who cherish the better Big Bands of the late 50s-early 60s, this disc ends a long wait - and the wait was worth it, because a heckuva lot has been learned in the past 15-or-so years about HOW to transfer analogue tapes to CD. That is, had this album been digitized back in 1991 (i.e., when I first wanted it so badly), it couldn't possibly have had the "breath of life" of this new remastering. I mean, "Zowee, Daddy-O, Koo-Koo" (and all that Rat Pack-vintage lingo) : the playing; the feeling; the arrangements; the recording and the new transfer are all just KILLER. For just one example, play "The Fat Man," where the brass may be "laid back" as they insinuate themselves against the walking bass - but it's the laid-backness of a tiger about to pounce. Or, by way of an "Ultimate Compliment" : in terms of quality, insight and drive, it's as if Terry Gibbs, each arranger and every player in this band had become his own equivalent of Capitol-Era Sinatra. So it should come as no shock (but it will, anyway) that each and every track is top-drawer and no g**d*** fooling.
The sound and the energy will transport you to a time-and-place where we still had a kind of futuristic hope and sense of expectation - because we hadn't yet politically, militarily, and ecomonically shot ourselves in the foot...But it's not merely a blast of nostalgia : it's a realization that, in spite of what we've done to ourselves, there is still THIS kind of energy or "center" which can yet be retrieved - and replenished. In fact, it's an unbelievable honor to be the first to post a review, here.
In conclusion, just BUY this - for yourself, for your friends, for your enemies - buy as many legal copies as you can so it will stay "in print". And thank Terry Gibbs for being Terry Gibbs. Enough said."
Legendary Gibbs Bib Band
C. Orena | Los Angeles, CA USA | 06/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the many recordings the Gibbs band made during the late 50' and early 60's. Most of the songs are the arrangements of Bill Holman. Most of these recordings were live recordings. this album is a studio date and has a peculiar yet successful stereo balance. From an arrangers view it is easy to hear all the sections interact. But the main reason for this recordings sucess is the playing of the musicians. Everyone contributes. With Mel Lewis, on drums to Joe Maini on Alto, everyone SWINGS!"
TIMELESS BIG BAND EXCITEMENT!
Bruce Armstrong | Long Beach, CA United States | 06/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not much to add to the first reviewer's excellent write-up. Everything Terry ever recorded with his big band rates 5 stars in my book and "Swing Is Here" is no exception. The band was comprised of the cream of the L.A. jazz musicians from the late 1950s when this recording was made. The ensemble is tight, the charts swing like crazy, and the soloists are some of the all-time greats: Terry (of course), Conte Candoli, Lou Levy, Bill Perkins, Frank Rosolino etc., and the great Mel Lewis is on drums. I would like to make special mention of Joe Maini's superb lead alto work and his exciting solo on "Evil Eyes"--accompanied by shouts from the band. I was fortunate enough to see the band in person during my college days in Los Angeles--long before it was given the "Dream Band" tag---and those nights are among my greatest musical memories. Now, if somebody would only put out the band's first (Mercury) recording on CD-- "Launching A New Sound In Music"-- I would be a very happy man!"