Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|The Al Belletto Big Jazz Band|
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Big band jazz with the masters of the masters
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Al Belletto has a long history of assemblng the greatest musicians available for any project. He was the point man responsible for assembling the Al Hirt Thundering Herd big band in the 80's. I personally heard that band 's last concert on Bourbon St and still cannot believe how talented his musicians were. On this album(Jazznocracy) he recorded it at a church in ONE take which when you hear it you just can't believe it was done in one take. After leaving the Stan Kenton orchestra back in the early sixties he had a faboulous 6 piece group that sounded like a 12 piece orchestra. If you enjoy the big band sound with hot cook solos like you'd expect from a cozy jazz combo this is definitely your album."
Five stars if you remember "Relaxin'," the Roosevelt Hotel a
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 08/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a serendipitous surprise to find a CD by these guys, even if it's the only one and is out of print. The instant I heard the first track, "Relaxin'," the decades literally melted away and I was once more in my bedroom clutching the little wire antenna attached to my Lone Ranger radio, my loyal dog Trixie sleeping contentedly at the foot of the bed, and the feelings of anxiety and excitement sweeping over me as though it were yesterday.
"Relaxin'" by the Al Belletto Sextet was the theme song of a nightly jazz show emanating from New Orleans on an all-clear-channel AM station that I could somehow pick up in northern Wisconsin. "Moonglow with Martin" was the title of the show, and it was my introduction to jazz. I had to keep the volume way down lest I alert my parents that I wasn't sleeping (band practice began at 8 A.M.), but no excitement has quite equalled the night I heard the Duke Ellington band with Louis Bellson on drums playing "Skin Deep"--even on a kid's cheap AM tube radio from the 1950s.
Listening to the music now, I can hear what I'm missing today. These were tight and talented musicians--instrumentally and vocally--just barely shy of the standard-bearers for this kind of music, The Four Freshmen. And there were numerous groups like them. While attending college, I stood outside of clubs on Rock Island's strip and heard musicians both sing and play in smooth, inerrant harmony the great tunes of the American Songbook. (Pat Moran and Bev Kelly were members of one such group.) But I don't recall anyone other than Belletto's versatile crew launching the grooving strains of "Relaxin'" (which I hadn't heard in 50 years).
If you're a fan of the Freshmen or, for that matter, of Take 6 and The Manhattan Transfer, or simply of musicians who can play and sing, looking and sounding good while doing either or both, you'll enjoy this CD. (As for the title, yes, the instrumental textures produced by a mere six musicians are deceptively expansive, or "big," but be assured that this is music that swings in an intimate, inviting fashion from beginning to end. They weren't too big to fit in my half bunk each night."
Very WOW - almost Ultra WOW
Thomas J Klepaczyk | Eastport, ID United States | 08/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If I could give it 4.5 stars, I would. I found the Swing presented on this CD to be fresh and solid. Here we go, cut-by-cut, in my humble opinion.
Relaxin' is definitely labeled right. It even concludes with the trademark 'Count Ba-sie' notes. A great opening number that gets your fingers poppin' and toes tappin' instantly -in that most relaxin' way.
Pennies from Heaven - we all should be able to sing along with this number. And Swing Along -I recall Satch doing this song/ I think he'd dig what you'll hear here.
Cool down just a little with Basically Blues -just a little. Let's call it a Warm Blue.
From blues to ballad with Only the Lonely -excellently done.
Jumpin' at the Woodside? I'm a big, VERY BIG Count Basie fan. I wouldn't steer you wrong. These guys do a fine job on this classic!!
Liner notes say Jazznocracy is played as written in 1933 for Jimmy Lunceford. Talk about Staying Power. A great choice as the title cut. It swings from start to finish - Play it twice!!
Come in from the rain -another ballad played with the power heard in Maynard Ferguson's MacArthur Park.
No Cares. Not with great music like this!! Just get into it like this band did, and feel the joy!
Next, a suite of Ellingtons: In a Sentimental Mood -Tasteful. Things ain't what they used to be -Oh, yes, they are, if you're used to your Things full of brass and energy. Serenade to Sweden -applause at the end/ you'll applaud, too. Satin Doll -give this band 3 for 3 on Count/Duke All-Time Hits.
And we close as we began, swinging. Alegria jumps, or sambas per the notes. It's a drummer feature, and a creative one.
I'm very pleased with all 13 tracks. Swing this one into your shopping cart - you'll be glad you did."