Washington D.C. based drummer and band leader, Brooks Tegler, who's played on over a hundred recordings and is the 2004 recipient of the Wammie Award for best Jazz/Swing category, records his very first album of entirely big band swing material with That’s It!
The album is a tribute to the giants of big band jazz such as Gene Krupa, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and Benny Carter.
As you can imagine, the music here is all big band swing, reflecting the sounds of the music from the 30s, 40s and 50s. The music swings fast and loud at times, but that’s the nature of swing music, which is often interpreted by a large and powerful big band. No less here, as Tegler assembled 25 players performing on different tracks, resulting in a strong woodwind section that powers the music.
Also included are Lynn McCune who provides warm vocals on "Goodnight My Love," and the Artie Shaw staple, "I Have Eyes." The other singer to grace the recording is Jim Stephanson who voices two of the best numbers on the album, the Harold Arlen love song, "Now I Know," and the lively sizzling finale of "Alright, Okay, You Win," accompanied by a scorching tenor solo from Bruce Swaim.
The album kicks off in swinging fashion with the Dorsey/Norman chart and title tune, "That’s It!" where the band provides one fiery performance and sets the stage for this tribute CD. This is followed by a Woody Herman favorite "Ingie Speaks" showcasing Marty Nau on a clarinet solo and guitarist Tom Mitchell.
Ellington fares well here as Tegler includes three of his compositions, "Jack The Bear," "Hiya Sue" and "Such Sweet Thunder," while Basie is represented by "John’s Idea" and the moving "The Glider." Bill Finnegan’s "Pussy Willow" is one of the better big band arrangements here.
In summation, there are 18 tracks of swinging, big band music here played, as the press clippings state, "with the same precision, drive and energy as the originals." If you favor the big band sound and relish the music of its originators, Brooks Tegler’s big band release of That’s It! is one recording you don’t want to miss. The music is powerful, exciting and just plain old fun.