****RINGER OF THE WEEK****The Ed Palermo Big Band: The Great Un-American Songbook

You’ve got to give kudos to leader/conductor/arranger and alto sax player Ed Palermo just for the moxie of putting together a big band for such an audacious project. The 17 piece jazz orchestra plus two vocalists takes rock songs of the 60s and 70s through the puree’ of modern jazz sensibilities, and it works to astonishing success.

And we’re not talking about things like The Beatles’ “Yesterday.” Yes, the Beatles are involved, but you’ve got a wild goat braying the intro into a wild “Good Morning, Good Morning,” as well as a smoking “Don’t Bother Me.” And that’s the accessible stuff!

Two, count ‘em, two pieces from King Crimson, INCLUDING a riveting “21st Century Schizoid Man,” and a hip flute on a read of Jethro Tull’s “Beggar’s Farm.” A couple pieces by Jeff Beck include a string laden “Diamond Dust” while Cream’s “As You Said” and Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s “Bitches Crystal” mix swing with rich harmonies. The take of Arthur Brown’s “Fire” is a gas, and even bands as obscure as Blodwyn Pig and” The Nice” get a place in the spotlight. There is one ringer, a take of Radiohead’s “The Tourist,” but don’t let that get you out of your wide whale chords. This 2 disc set is BOSS!


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