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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired musicianship!, November 22, 2004
This review is from: On the Wild Side (Audio CD)
I had heard La Barbera's work before -- he was the principal arranger for the Buddy Rich Band for over 15 years and contributed to arrangements by a host of other leaders such as Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Tormé, Harry James, Glenn Miller, and Doc Severinsen - but this is the first CD I've found under his own name. With kudos on the back of the CD from the likes of Elmer Bernstein (composer of the title track) and Horace Silver, I knew before listening that this recording would become a solid staple of my big band library... and it has lived up to that promise. Crisp, bright, and solid arrangements swing from the first cut. The tracks move from rich symphonic fullness to dynamic smaller ensembles - embracing a full palette of colors - and the musicianship is top flight with folks like Bill Cunliffe on Keyboards, Clay Jenkins on trumpet, Pat La Barbera and Bob Shepard on tenor, and Joe La Barbera on drums. Horace Silver wrote: "Good arrangements -- good band -- good performance." I couldn't agree more!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff from the LaBarbera brothers and friends, May 7, 2008
This review is from: On the Wild Side (Audio CD)
The two outstanding tracks are "Tiger Of San Pedro" (originally played by Bill Watrous' Manhattan Wildlife Refuge on the album "Tiger Of San Pedro") and "So What," both featuring excellent tenor sax solos from Pat LaBarbera. Also, excellent piano work on "Cloth Of Silver" from another ex-Buddy Rich sideman - Bill Cunliffe
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tight, big band sound, June 27, 2008
This review is from: On the Wild Side (Audio CD)
Nice album. Good arrangements. High quality recording - it feels like you are in the same room with the band and you can hear the individual players. I liked the very interesting version of "Eleanor Rigby".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything Worked!, October 31, 2013
This review is from: On the Wild Side (Audio CD)
This is what big band jazz should sound like. Great arrangements by John - top-notch personnel playing marvelously well - and many, many kudos to the sound engineer. The balance between the sections is excellent, and the sound quality is so true to the different instruments. However, I can't find the complete list of the personnel. Clay Jenkins seems to be the featured trumpet soloist, but who is playing that rock-solid lead trumpet? Is it also Clay?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must hear ... this is great., October 11, 2013
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This review is from: On the Wild Side (Audio CD)
I was pleased to review this CD since I grew up with John, Pat and Joe. I still remember our school concerts where their music rocked the school auditorium. How lucky I was to know them back then.
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On the Wild Side
On the Wild Side by John La Barbera (Audio CD - 2004)
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