Underdog and Other Stories

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ken Dryden
Pianist Ted Kooshian picks up where he left off on his second CD with his Standard Orbit Quartet, offering novel interpretations of themes from cartoons, television series, movies, plus a few familiar jazz and pop compositions. The lineup hasn't changed much, with Jeff Lederer on tenor and soprano saxes, bassist Tom Hubbard, and drummer Warren Odze, though Scott Neumann takes over on drums on a few numbers due to a scheduling conflict for Odze. Those who grew up in the '60s will remember Underdog (starring Wally Cox as the voice of the canine superhero), yet this campy interpretation of its theme song is centered around a lively Afro-Cuban beat. "Wild Wild West" (starring ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ken Dryden
Pianist Ted Kooshian picks up where he left off on his second CD with his Standard Orbit Quartet, offering novel interpretations of themes from cartoons, television series, movies, plus a few familiar jazz and pop compositions. The lineup hasn't changed much, with Jeff Lederer on tenor and soprano saxes, bassist Tom Hubbard, and drummer Warren Odze, though Scott Neumann takes over on drums on a few numbers due to a scheduling conflict for Odze. Those who grew up in the '60s will remember Underdog (starring Wally Cox as the voice of the canine superhero), yet this campy interpretation of its theme song is centered around a lively Afro-Cuban beat. "Wild Wild West" (starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin) is recast as a loping gospel number, featuring Lederer's passionate, preaching tenor, all that's missing is the closing "Amen" from a choir. Everyone who loves the Looney Tunes cartoons of the '40s, '50s, and '60s is likely familiar with Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse," which was orchestrated and used in excerpts by Carl Stalling. Best compared with Scott's original recording, Kooshian's hilarious, stripped-down arrangement gets into a bit of stride, some pseudo-classical and avant-garde, along with many shifts in the tempo, resisting any predictable path. The dissonant setting of "Popeye" showcases the leader's angular piano against Lederer's playful soprano sax, then alters direction into an ominous vamp (possibly suggesting Popeye's inevitable battle with Brutus). Henry Mancini's "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is fairly straight-ahead, with lush tenor, elegant piano, and brushwork suggesting an early morning stroll in Manhattan on an autumn day. Likewise, the take of Duke Ellington's "Purple Gazelle" (also recorded by its composer as "Angelica") swings like mad in African-flavored swing, with Lederer's superb soprano dominating the track. Ted Kooshian has obviously found a winning formula with this band, and if they continue to work together, they should suffer no shortage of songs to uncover for their mostly madcap experiments. Rate it four-and-a-half stars or five chuckles.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/11/2009
  • Label: Summit(Classical)
  • UPC: 099402525921
  • Catalog Number: 525

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Underdog - Ted Kooshian's Standard Orbit Quartet (4:42)
  2. 2 Aja - Ted Kooshian's Standard Orbit Quartet (4:04)
  3. 3 Time Was - Ted Kooshian's Standard Orbit Quartet (4:56)
  4. 4 Sanford and Son - Ted Kooshian's Standard Orbit Quartet (4:42)
  5. 5 Popeye - Ted Kooshian's Standard Orbit Quartet (3:13)
  6. 6 Baretta - Ted Kooshian's Standard Orbit Quartet (6:54)
  7. 7 Wild Wild West - Ted Kooshian's Standard Orbit Quartet (6:40)
  8. 8 Purple Gazelle - Ted Kooshian's Standard Orbit Quartet (8:14)
  9. 9 God Give Me Strength - Ted Kooshian's Standard Orbit Quartet (5:18)
  10. 10 The Odd Couple - Ted Kooshian's Standard Orbit Quartet (4:52)
  11. 11 Powerhouse - Ted Kooshian's Standard Orbit Quartet (4:16)
  12. 12 Breakfast at Tiffany's - Ted Kooshian's Standard Orbit Quartet (3:43)
  13. 13 Little Lulu - Ted Kooshian's Standard Orbit Quartet (6:00)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ted Kooshian Primary Artist, Piano, Interviewee
Warren Odze Drums
Scott Neumann Drums, Bells
Jeff Lederer Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Slide Whistle
Tom Hubbard Bass
Technical Credits
Henry Mancini Composer
Elvis Costello Composer
Donald Fagen Composer
Quincy Jones Composer
Neal Hefti Composer
Burt Bacharach Composer
Walter Becker Composer
Jim Clouse Engineer, Mastering
Dave Grusin Composer
Duke Ellington Composer
Joseph Harris Composer
Buddy Kaye Composer
Richard Markowitz Composer
Raymond Scott Composer
Fred Wise Composer
Sammy Lerner Composer
Sidney Lippman Composer
Chester Stover Composer
Treadwell Covington Composer
Ted Kooshian Arranger, Producer
Miguel Prado Composer
Watts Composer
Chester Stover Composer
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