"Feelin' the Spirit"

Vintage Jazz Big Band

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Imogena IGCD 061 (order here)

1. Feelin' the Spirit (Listen) 9. Potato Head Blues (Listen)
2. Saratoga Drag 10. When the Saints Go Marching In
3. I Must Have That Man 11. Anytime, Anyday, Anywhere
4. Original Jelly Roll Blues 12. Christopher Columbus
5. Ostrich Walk 13. Swanee River
6. No Papa No 14. Vintage Swing
7. Dead Man Blues 15. Black and Tan Fantasy
8. Market Street Stomp 16. C Jam Blues
17. Take the A-Train (Listen)
The opening number Feelin' the Spirit follows the Luis Russell 1929 recording up to the trombone solo. The saxophone chorus is somewhat adapted to the vintage resources and the additional trumpet and tenor sax solos have been included. The Russell vocal chorus was changed to a chase chorus with Rolf and Bert where their scat singing is getting more and more crazy. The next chorus by tenor saxophonist Lars Elf shows the real Russell spirit. The final trumpet solo by Rolf Sundby humbly refers to the original Henry Red Allen solo at the lead-in break, but it then builds up to a new climax towards the end.
     Saratoga Drag is another hot Luis Russell tune. The famous recording from 1930 has been transcribed by Bent Persson, leader of Kustbandet, Stockholm.
     I Must Have That Man, featuring Sluggo Eriksson as the main soloist, calms down the tempo and cools it off. Rolf Sundby's arrangement follows the Duke Ellington recording from 1928, but an extra trumpet solo and a new tutti ensemble have been added.
     Dead Man Blues and Original Jelly Roll Blues are printed arrangements by Mel Stitzel edited as early as 1926 and 1915(!). The phrasing is partly more ragtime oriented with more even eights, e.g. in the Rolf Sundby trumpet solo in Dead Man Blues. Some extra solos have been added. Note Bert Slättung´s tuba solo in Dead Man Blues with the grunting arco bass of Jörgen Svensson in the background.
     Ostrich Walk is a Rolf Sundby big band homage to Bix Beiderbecke with Bixy breaks and Bert´s bass saxophone in true Rollini style.
     No Papa No is mainly based on the Ellington recording of October 1928 including a copy of the first phrases of each solo. The phrasing style and the key is changed after the piano solo for two choruses inspired by the Louis Armstrong version with frontline trumpet, trombone and clarinet. The Rolf Sundby arrangement is rounded off back in the Ellingtonian spirit with the clarinet trio and tuba. Magnus Bylund´s quasi countertenor could perhaps be interpreted as our statement in the ongoing pedophilic debate, but regard it as a demonstration of the versatile vocal recourses in the band and our sometimes cheeky attitude to our music. Please note Lars Folkerman´s trumpet solo in true vintage style and the real Tricky Sam Nanton sound in the trombone solo. Magnus´ trick is a small straight mute over which he uses an (empty ) plastic ice cream box for wa-wa effects.
     Market Street Stomp concludes the stompy section of this CD. This Rolf Sundby arrangement is built on the 1929 recording of Cab Calloway´s band, The Missourians. The cheeky arrangement and even more cheeky performance can be exemplified by the extremely short tuba solo - watch out! The band almost explodes in the last chorus. And everybody had a good time - even Mr. Bylund´s dog.
     The programme now offers two well-known Armstrong hits followed by a set of four numbers which could be classified as swing and sweet, mostly swing or swing and sweat.
     Potato Head Blues follows the classical 1927 recording of Louis Armstrong. However, the famous Satchmo solos have been transcribed by Rolf Sundby to a trumpet trio. Note the second chorus ( the verse ) where the 3 trumpets are accompanied solely by Nisse Hinnerson´s banjo.
     When The Saints Go Marching In is Bent Persson´s transcription of the wellknown 1938 recording of Louis Armstrong with his Russell oriented big band. Rolf Sundby preaches the gospel vocally and through his Armstrong flavored trumpet. The backing choir is not a real angel choir although it sounds like one. However, the Vintage Jazz Big Band Male Choir is just as good. But the choir members are not angels, No Sir! I can tell you that!!
     Anytime, Anyday, Anywhere is a beautiful but seldomly played ballad from the Ellington library. Sluggo Eriksson presents the theme in the arrangement by vocalist Magnus Bylund. Listen to Peter Hallgren's sensitive interpretation of the Johnny Hodges alto solo, and note the nice background work by Jörgen and Bo.
     Christopher Columbus is another printed arrangement from 1936 by Larry Clinton. The swing style of Fletcher Henderson and Benny Goodman appears here in this Vintage JBB version, e.g. in Lars Elf´s tenor solo. Bert Slättung takes a vocal chorus.
     Swanee River, a special feature for Johnny Korner, is an original Rolf Sundby arrangement. The style is mainstream jazz with some elements of Count Basie. The Clark Terry paraphrase One Foot In The Gutter is also used in one chorus. Johnny Korner´s brilliant alto playing unifies modern swing with a feeling for traditional jazz. The merging result is top class vintage jazz. Note the tutti vocals in the last bridge, which proves that true vintage jazz has no limits.
     Vintage Swing is an up tempo original by Rolf Sundby. The harmon-muted trumpet duet with Jörgen Svensson´s double bass is as modern as the Vintage JBB will ever get.
     The Music of Duke Ellington is of course one of the most basic elements in vintage jazz. This production has already presented three numbers associated with the Duke. Yet another three wellknown Ellington numbers will conclude the program:
     Black And Tan Fantasy. This Rolf Sundby arrangement is based partly on Ellington´s first recording from 1927 with co-composer Bubber Miley as main soloist but even more on recordings from the 1960´s, featuring Cootie Williams. Drummer Anders Winald sets the right Ellingtonian jungle mood right from the introduction and once again Magnus Bylund gets that Sam Nanton sound out of his trombone. The Rolf Sundby trumpet solo clearly refers to Cootie Williams without copying the original solos. Note the brighter tone and the crescendo in the third chorus of this trumpet solo.
     C Jam Blues, Duke Ellington´s wellknown blues riff, has got a new touch in Magnus Bylund's relaxed arrangement. Enjoy Bo Löfgren´s tasteful fill-ins in the last choruses.
     Finally, Take The A Train, Billy Strayhorn´s composition and the Duke´s theme song for many years concludes the Ellington set and indeed the whole CD. The vocal chorus as well as the Cootie Williams oriented trumpet solos are all by Rolf Sundby. Sluggo and Magnus added some extra trombone parts which make the sound richer. The transcription is signed Bent Persson. If you have read all notes, I am convinced that the Vintage Jazz Big Band can give you the right happy feeling (if you get our records) and you are really Feelin´ The Spirit.

( Rolf Sundby )

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