Social Call / Tenderly / I Remember Clifford / Adjustment / When I Fall in Love / Dazzle / A Little Trane / Sunnyside Right Side Up / Theme for Ernie / Take the ÒAÓ Train / Early Autumn / Over the Rainbow.73:13.
Rasmussen, ldr; Mark Pinto, Ernie Sola, as, ss, flt; Jim Cameron, ts, bari; John Franzosa, ts, flt; Dave Handrick, bari, b cl; Keith Kostic, Benny Pelphrey, Dave Santos, Marty Schwartz, Phil Person, Pat Stout, tpt; Al Cron, George Mancini, Kent McGarity, Brain Kay, tbn; Jody Bregler, d; Tony Sumbury, b; Carl Reppucci, p; Ron Gendreau, g; Miguel Almestica, cga.Nashua, NH, Nov. 12-20, 1994.
I never thought I’d be hearing - let alone praising - a large ensemble from New Hampshire, of all places.But that is precisely the case with (CD #2), even though the opening chorus of "Social Call" is rather unpromising.Once the band finds its range, however, it becomes increasingly apparent that Rasmussen has (or, to be more exact, had) at his disposal a purposeful and competent orchestra which, if not always letter-perfect in its execution, approaches the music with considerable ardor and conviction.The irony is that the band as heard here no longer exists - at least not under Rasmussen’s baton - as business has taken him to Minneapolis where his plans include assembling a similar ensemble.By the time Not So Tenderly was recorded (in Nov. 1994) the orchestra had been together for more than a decade, and the empathetic disposition that attends such a long association is apparent.From standards to originals, the charts are first-rate (including Rasmussen’s "Sunny Side Right Side Up," a thinly veiled take on "Sunny Side of the Street") and the group confers on each of them its utmost care and respect.Among the more notable:Horace Silver’s "Adjustment," Paul Lopez’ "Dazzle," Herb Phillips’ "A Little Trane" and the Harold Arlen standard "Over the Rainbow" - taken at a blistering pace.Trumpeter Schwartz is a standout on Golson’s "I Remember Clifford," alto Pinto, soprano Sola and tenor Cameron likewise on their features, "When I Fall in Love," "Theme for Ernie" and the Ralph Burns evergreen "Early Autumn," respectively.The rhythm section carries out its assignment with practiced assurance, while other soloists (especially Bregler, Reppucci, trombonist Mancini and bass trumpeter McGarity) add compelling statements of their own.This is a compelling straight-ahead session that should not displease anyone who admires and appreciates contemporary big bands.
Jack Bowers, "Cadence," July 1996, page 115.
DAVE RASMUSSEN JAZZ ORCHESTRA
NOT SO TENDERLY
Social Call; Tenderly; I Remember Clifford; Adjustment; When I Fall in Love; Dazzle; A Little Trane; Sunnyside Right Side Up; Theme For Ernie; Take The ‘A’ Train; Early Autumn; Over the Rainbow (73:19)
Dave Rasmussen (leader); Mark Pinto, Ernie Sola (f, ss, as); Jim Cameron (ts, bar); John Franzosa (f, ts); Dave Handrick (bari, bcl); Keith Kostic, Benny Pelphrey, Dave Santos, Marty Schwartz, Phil Person or Pat Stout (t); Al Cron, George Mancini, Kent McGarity, Brain Kay (tb); Carl Reppucci (p); Ron Gendreau (g); Tony Sumbury (b); Jody Bregler (d); Miguel Almestica (cga).Nashua, New Hampshire, November 19 & 20, 1994.
(Sea Breeze SB-2072)
This is another fine American big band which has flourished around the Boston area for 12 years or so.If I understand the liner correctly, this CD is the band’s swan song as its leader and mentor, Dave Rasmussen, has now moved to Minneapolis in connection with his employment.‘The day gig comes first,’ he comments in the very informative notes.
Most big band repertoires consist of classic swingers and ballads but this band turns all that upside-down with numbers like Tenderly, When I Fall In Love, Early Autumn and Rainbow not given the usual tender performance we have come to expect.Hence the title of the album.
Mark Taylor is responsible for the bright, uptempo version of Tenderly on which the band roars away in a manner which would surely alarm Walter Gross, the number’s composer.When I Fall In Love is in similar vein and is a tour-de-force for Mark Pinto’s alto, which is set against some very spirited boppish backgrounds.
Boppish also describes Sunnyside, a chart by the band’s leader which has neat solos from pianist Carl Reppucci and flugelhorn player Marty Schwartz amongothers.‘A’ Train is the familiar Ducal warhorse which the band manages to give a new slant.Mark Taylor is the arranger on this one and he even includes a passage in 3/4 time on a number which is very much a feature for the trombone section.
Jim Cameron’s Getzian tenor introduces the theme of Early Autumn in ballad mood and then steps up the tempo as the band explodes into action.Rainbow takes off right from the start with trombonist Al Cron leading the way.Tight boppish lines serve to spotlight the excellence of the section playing on this fine David Rasmussen chart which closes one of the most original big band albums to come my way in a long time.
Stan Woolley, "Jazz Journal," Aug. 1996.
DAVE RASMUSSEN JAZZ ORCHESTRA NOT SO TENDERLY - Sea Breeze SB-2072 Social Call, Tenderly, I Remember Clifford, Adjustment, When I Fall in Love, Dazzle, A Little Trane, Sunnyside Right Side Up, Theme for Ernie, Take the “A” Train, Early Autumn, Over the Rainbow.Total time - 73:13
(Ed: end of previous review in article).A rich and colorful big-band session, one that won’t disappoint you. Nor will the first - and perhaps last - release by Dave Rasmussen’s Jazz Orchestra from New Hampshire, although the ensemble is hardly as tight or well-drilled as Mantooth’s or Owen’s.Since this recording was made, Rasmussen has moved to Minnesota - but he plans to form another big band in his new home.If so, we hope it measures up to this one, which on the whole is quite congenial.Although the ensemble has some problems with Mark Taylor’s mercurial arrangement of Tenderly, that’s about the only misstep in more than an hour of agreeable and well-played big-band fare.Rasmussen refashioned Sunny Side of the Street into the charming Sunnyside Right side Up and arranged When I Fall in Love, Theme for Ernie and Over the Rainbow.The orchestra boasts several strong soloists, notably trumpeter Marty Schwartz (a standout on Sunnyside and Benny Golson’s I Remember Clifford), saxophonists Ernie Sola, Mark Pinto and Jim Cameron, trombonist George Mancini, pianist Carl Reppucci and guitarist Ron Gendreau.The program is well-chosen (Herb Phillips’ burner, A Little Trane, and Tom Kubis’ alluring arrangement of Ralph Burns’ classic Early Autumn are among the other superlative charts), and the orchestra surprisingly proficient.Another winner.