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Bebop Spoken There

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Monday, February 02, 2015

CD review: Strictly Smokin’ Big Band – Strictly Smokin’ Big Band

(Review by Russell)
A six track CD. The then (2014) regular line-up went into Loft Studios in Newcastle to document the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band’s efforts to date. The 2015 personnel remains largely unchanged. The band’s many followers know how good the live experience is – every single one of them will want a copy of this Strictly Smokin’ Big Band CD. That’s an initial pressing of 10,000 then (conservative estimate)!
Caravan opens the recording with solos from Pete Tanton, Paul Gowland and Pawel Jedrzejewski. It’s a simple statement: This is what we do. Vocalist James Hedley sings Feeling Good (Newley, Bricusse) with a superb trumpet section behind him. This is one of the band’s strongest numbers (live or studio). Lindsay Hannon makes the first of two appearances on Alright, Okay, You Win and vocal sparring partner Hedley returns to say It Had to be You with a big Hollywood-style orchestral entrance; a second’s silence then the debonair Hedley opines It Had to be You. Big arrangement, big playing, all on a shoe-string budget! A dance band swing time Have You Met Miss Jones? hears the band in relaxed mood, showing off the talents of the full ensemble (Toms, tenor and MD Lamb on trumpet). Ms Hannon takes it out on Makin’ Whoopee. Six tracks, twenty minutes, an excellent example of just what the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band is about. Buy it, play it, see the band live. www.strictly-smokin.co.uk
Russell.
Steve Summers, Keith Robinson (alt); Paul Gowland , Jamie Toms (ten); Laurie Rangecroft (bar); Gordon Marshall, Michael Lamb (MD), Pete Tanton, Dick Stacey (tpt); Mark Ferris, Kieran Parnaby, Robert Perry, John Flood (tmb); Marc Jolliffe (pno); Pawel Jedrzejewski (gtr); Michael Whent (bs); Guy Swinton (dms); Lindsay Hannon & James Hedley (vocals).

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