PO Box 2564, Bassett, CA 91746
"Manhattan At Dusk"
16 Tracks of sheer energy and driving force is the
formula behind this independent release by Rich Szabo, his screaming trumpet
and a scorching big band. With New York heavies the likes of Earl gardner,
Joe Mosello, Jimmie Maxwell, John Eckert, Vinnie Cutro and others on hand,
the group delivers solid arrangements on originals as well as standards.
The opening "Smooth", a rock chart by Jeff Pittson
shows off Szabo's incredible range and stamina as he wails over the extreme
register. The leader's arrangement of "Take The A Train" offers some fresh
ensemble work and earthy solos by Mike Migliore on alto and pianist Biff
hannon, both alumni of Maynard U. from 'round the "Conquistador" period.
The pace changes on the warm and fuzzy title track,
featuring Szabo's delicious flugelhorn and a tasty high register line played
by Rick Henly. The flugelhorn is heard again, playing with haunting beauty
on "Campanilla" before the chart breaks into a rock-ensemble sweat. A fine
vocal arrangement of "The ady Is A Tramp" follows, and later, there's a funk-fest
of a Chase-like passage of screaming trumpets on "1987 B.C." that just about
steals the show. And would you believe an arrangement of Mr. Rogers' "It's
A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood"?
A solid performance by this phenomenal jazz orchestra,
and a dream come true for fans of the trumpet's altissimo register.
(reviewed by Mike Pomerantz)