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Ballet of the Bouncing Beagles by Phil Kelly & The Northwest Prevailing Winds

The retro-big band sound on this release gleams bright like the bumper on a '57 Chevy. So bright, in fact, that a reasonably astute listener couldn't be blamed for wondering if the the Ballet of the Bouncing Beagles might not be the name of troupe of Vegas showgirls, burlesque dancers, or an Ice Capades show.

Phil Kelly and his Northwest Prevailing Winds bring a tight throwback athleticism to the proceedings here. Although they often skirt the fringe of bebop in their solos, for the most part the band stays entrenched in the matching dinner jacket era, paying tribute to the work of bandleaders like Louis Prima and Glenn Miller.

There are some evocations of latter day influences. "Ewe Doo on Bubba's Shoux" is referred to in the liner notes as a tribute to "New Orleans street beat music"; likewise "Grover" a tribute to smooth jazz pioneer Grover Washington, puts the musicians far from the big band era. The arrangement on "Grover" is convincingly Bob James, and the salsa sound on the humorously titled "Estes Frijoles Causa Me Falta Pasar A Los Vientos" will take listeners south of the border; for the most part, however, the crisp big band sound Kelly has perfected takes center stage on this album.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Phil Kelly & The Northwest Prevailing Winds
  • CD Title: Ballet of the Bouncing Beagles
  • Genre: Big Band / Swing
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Origin Records
  • Tracks: Play Tonic Blues, Limehouse Blues, Ballet of the Bouncing Beagles, Ewe Doo on Bubbas Shoux, Rainshadow, Note-o-Riot-ee, BD Bunz, Estos Frijoles Causa Me Falta Pasar A Los Vientos, Grover, Top Fuel Pete Vs The Trav-ski
  • Musicians: Brad Allison, Paul Baron, Jay Thomas, Vern Sielert (trumpet), Gary Shutes, Dan Marcus, Dave Marriot (trombone), Nelson Bell (bass trombone/tuba), Jerry Dogion (alto sax), Travis Ranney (alto/tenor/soprano sax), Pete Christlieb, Jim Colie (tenor sax), Bill Ramsay(baritone sax), Pete Brewer (clarinet/bass clarinet/tenor sax), Randy Lee (flute/tenor sax), John Hansen, Pat Coil (keyboards), Dave Captein (bass), Gary Hobbs (drums), Grant Geissman (guitar), John Bryant, Ron Snider (percussion), Chris Alper (string programming)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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