Rhapsody in Swing

Rhapsody in Swing

by The SWR Big Band
     
 

The phrase "German swing" may still cause a few hairs to stand up on the back of the neck, but this competent release is more the product of African-British conductor Wayne Marshall than of the massed forces of the venerable Dresden Philharmonic (strings only) and the Southwest German Radio Big Band ("one of the bestSee more details below

Overview

The phrase "German swing" may still cause a few hairs to stand up on the back of the neck, but this competent release is more the product of African-British conductor Wayne Marshall than of the massed forces of the venerable Dresden Philharmonic (strings only) and the Southwest German Radio Big Band ("one of the best big bands in the world," the booklet proclaims in German; the English offers the slightly more defensive "without doubt one of the best big bands in the world"). Marshall, who has been active as a conductor, pianist, and organist, has delivered several unorthodox but intriguing readings of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." He favors a quick, unsentimental approach that makes much of the small details in the work's transitions, and he finds an unexpected variety of them. The other two works on the album are much less familiar and are designed to take advantge specifically of the combined forces of orchestra and jazz band. The unknown "Nestico" appearing on the cover next to Gershwin and Ellington is Sammy Nestico, who worked with Count Basie and later published large numbers of arrangements for school groups in a variety of configurations. "A Swingphonic Collection" is a septet of popular song arrangements, and they're delightful: the balance among tune, band, and orchestra is expertly handled, with each contributing its distinctive self without weighing the music down. Perhaps the weak point is Ellington's "Harlem," a suite from the year 1950 presented here in its usually performed version by Maurice Peress. The work's history is an involved one, and it was apparently included because of the album's crossover theme; the work was commissioned by, of all people, the octogenarian Arturo Toscanini, and premiered by the NBC Symphony. But it has been recorded a number of times before, and there are other extended works by Ellington that might have served as well or better. A major plus is Southwest German Radio's live sound, which hits just the right brassy, brash note. Worthwhile for aficionados of symphonic jazz and its influence in Europe.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/28/2012
Label:
Hanssler Classics
UPC:
4010276025047
catalogNumber:
93282
Rank:
316189

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

SWR Big Band   Primary Artist,Band
Marc Godfroid   Trombone
Karl Farrent   Trumpet
Klaus Wagenleiter   Piano
Wayne Marshall   Piano,Conductor
Strings of the Dresden Philharmonic   Performing Ensemble
Pierre Paquette   Clarinet
Axel Kühn   Tenor Saxophone

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Hoagy Carmichael   Original Material
Dizzy Gillespie   Original Material
Ray Noble   Original Material
Maurice Peress   Arranger
Vernon Duke   Original Material
Duke Ellington   Composer,Original Material
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg   Original Material
Sammy Nestico   Composer
Frank Paparelli   Original Material
Mitchell Parish   Original Material
Billy Strayhorn   Original Material
Ferde Grofé   Arranger
Karl Farrent   Contracting
Miguel Carazo   Liner Note Translation
Thomas Angelkorte   Mastering
Ernst Oder   Liner Notes
Axel Sommerfeld   Engineering
Lewis Hamilton   Original Material
Rudolf Reindl   Contracting
Hans-Peter Zachary   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Boris Kellenbenz   Mastering

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