Fans of the Blues Brothers will recognize Lou Marini as "Blue Lou," the saxophonist who appears with the Blues Brothers in their movies and live performances. He joins forces here with The Magic City Jazz Orchestra (big band) led by pianist and co-producer Ray Reach in an electrifying program of original jazz compositions - most all of which were composed and arranged by Marini. Lou Marini was also a member of Blood, Sweat, and Tears, and also is a charter member of the Saturday Night Live Band. He currently tours with James Taylor as part of his music ensemble. This album is marks Lou's U.S. debut as a leader.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
That this music is amazing taken either tune by tune OR when considered as a whole is truly remarkable. I listen to it frequently. The album is compelling. A friend who is a former New York ballet and modern dancer and choreographer remarked that she tried to listen to it as she did household chores but was forced to quit moving about and sit down and actively listen to it. She said, "it makes you listen to it"! That is a powerful statement from someone whose life and work revolve so much around jazz music.
Perhaps the most interesting and esoteric part of this musical equation is the fact that here you have a high-dollar New York session musician who decided to come down to Birmingham, Alabama to record his very musically and technically demanding Big Band Jazz record. Lou has done time with North Texas State's One O'Clock Jazz Band, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, was a featured soloist with the band on the Saturday Night Live TV show for its' first eight years, was a member of the Blues Brothers Band, appeared in the movies, tours regularly with James Taylor, and I am betting he did not make the decisions about where and how to record this album in a vacuum.
The fact is that the total package, Dr. Ray Reach's big band charts and pre-production and production expertise, the quality of the local players and the engineers and studio equipment and space, was not necessarily superior to what was available to him in New York City, but he was able to find, in Birmingham, Alabama, an enclave of dedicated professionals who were up to the task of playing this excellent material very very well in the studio, and the technique was there to capture the performances for posterity very desirably I might add.
Because due diligence was practiced in the pre-production and production processes, expensive studio time was economized and the whole record was recorded in just a few days with stalwart mixing and minimal "overdubbing" or re-recording. Lou made a wonderful Big Band Jazz record in Birmingham, Alabama on a basis that was favorable to him artistically and financially.
More people, I predict, will get on the bandwagon. As a chart writer or composer, player and producer, Ray reach is one of the most prolific, only one of a handful of elite musicians who are staying busy producing recordings. With his many years of both experience and education he is ideally suited to preside over this future wave of Birmingham Jazz.
Anybody that loves any kind of good music, big band or no, jazz or no, who does not get this and listen to it is doing themselves and these incredibly complicated and talented UBER-musicians a grave injustice. It just makes it a bit more delicious to know that Birmingham is producing world-class music and it happens every day. More is in the works from the Marini/Reach collaboration.