On June 3, 1979, Nick Brignola joined Danny D'Imperio's band to play at The Rum Keg Lounge in Cortland, NY. Armed with his baritone and alto sax, Nick came loaded for bear and taking no prisoners. His prey, local alto sax player, Frank Moser, who despite playing hundreds of paying gigs was still committed to his day job. This modern-day cutting session took place at the local Howard Johnsons cocktail lounge converted by Bill Burdick into a regular jazz club, which normally featured talent that played the regular jazz circuit, i.e. The Dinkler, The Three Rivers Inn, The King of France Tavern, The Showboat Lounge, etc. The band was a typical example of an atypical phenomenon, namely it was made up primarily of Italian-American Central New Yorkers, a community that has contributed an unusually significant number of jazz musicians, including Sal Nistico, J.R. Monterose, the Mangione brothers, Joe La Barbera, Sam Noto, Don Menza, Frank Strazzeri, etc.
Nick Brignola's performances on this CD are something of a revelation. His high caliber playing inspires the band to new heights. Frank Moser rises to the occasion, giving as good as he is getting. Joining the band on the last track, Oleo is Rochester pianist Barry Keiner, who had great talent but a short life. He became one of Bill Burdick's favorite performers and was booked into the Rum Keg Lounge, with his trio, frequently. Also on hand for one track, was be-bop singer Dolores Mancuso, another Italian-American Central New Yorker from Utica, who acquits herself quite well on Broadway.
It is always a wonderful surprise when great jazz comes out of nowhere. It makes you wish that you had been there on thst night at The Rum Keg Lounge at Route 13 and Interstate 81, in Cortland, NY! For all of us who weren't we have this great CD to reveal to us what it was like. Well worth it!