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Metropole by Mike Barone Big Band

The recording's title track, "Metropole," is the opening song: a rich, full sounding catchy rhythm introduces the band, a nice horn arrangement with a funky pulsating beat, driving the tune towards some great horn playing with exciting trumpet breaks; the trumpet solo is care of Steve Huffsteter. Excellent compositions, fantastic arrangements and great playing by an exciting big band that propel the listener through just over an hour (10 tracks) of excellent big band music in the style of Gillespie, Basie, Goodman and Ellington.

A live recording of a tight big band swinging in a contemporary groove. The liner notes indicate the album was recorded live at the LA Valley College Recording Workshop, Valley Glen, California. The energy of a big band is intense; the energy of a big band performing a live concert can be electric, as in high intensity, shockingly - kicking it over the top with some exceptional solos from the leader and his soloists. This recording has captured that amazing energy, a quality recording, a great mix and a well produced CD.

There are some excellent tunes on this recording, the title track "Metropole" is one, "Blues In The Night" is another, add "Grand Central," "We’ll Be Together Again" and "Dat Dere" just to name some of the most exciting numbers. The songs have wonderful arrangements and some really fine playing by the soloists. Lee Thornburg and Ernie Watts do outstanding jobs on trumpet and tenor saxophone respectively.

Mike Barone, composer, arranger and trombonist has performed and recorded with some of the top names in jazz. Performing with the big bands of Doc Severinsen, Quincy Jones, Louis Bellson and Dizzy Gillespie to name a few. The reason Barone isn’t a household name is probably due in part to his long association with the Tonight Show Orchestra. From 1967 - 1992, Mike Barone wrote over 300 compositions for Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band. In 1968 he found the time to put out the fantastic Live At Donte’s with the Mike Barone Big Band, following a bit of a break (37 years), he came up with a second big band album Mike Barone Big Band Live 2005. This third installment, the Mike Barone Big Band Metropole is well worth a listen,as big bands go, this is the real deal, check it out, you won't be disappointed.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Mike Barone Big Band
  • CD Title: Metropole
  • Genre: Big Band / Swing
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Rhubarb Recordings
  • Tracks: Metropole, Yes Sir That’s My Baby, Blues In The Night, Grand Central, Nobody Else But Me, We’ll Be Together Again, Dat Dere, Passe, Flatfoot, I Won’t Dance
  • Musicians: Mike Barone, Charlie Loper, Dick Hamilton, Bill Booth, Craig Gosnell (trombone), Lee Thornburg, Pete DeSiena, Bob Summers, Steve Huffsteter (trumpet), Kim Richmond, Keith Bishop, Ernie Watts, Vince Trombetta, Bryan Williams (saxophone), John Proulx (piano), Joel Hamilton (bass), Paul Kreibich (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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