Rich Hirsch’s Big Ol’ Band: Pocono Git-Down

Conductor/composer Rick Hirsch puts together a modern sounding big band that packs a wallop. The rhythm section of Steve Rudolph/key, Tim Breon/g, Jeff Beck/b, Kevin Lowe/dr and Bob Velez are able to go from a New Orleans street fest on the title track to some rocking “The Old Chief’s Lookout.” Some fun hand clapping opens the way for a driving “Mambo Over the Mountain” while the shark suit gets ironed for a hip “The Way You Make Me Feel” which has the reeds and brass alternate soloists for the verses, while they rock back and forth for rollicking “Giddyup.” Guest Alex Meixner brings his accordion for the leader’s bel canto tenor sax solo on “Tonight We Tango” while the sections weave in and out like a Motorific Torture Track on” The Witching Hour.” A chart lover’s delight.

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