One Child Left Behind
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The Ed Palermo Big Band is led by alto saxist and arranger Ed Palermo; he has had this big band with much of the same personnel for 35 years
The band is a 16 piece ensemble of five woodwind players, 2 trumpeters, three trombonists, two keyboardists, guitar, violin, bass and drum.
Ed made his and his big band's name as an interpreter of the music of Frank Zappa. There are plenty of works by Zappa on this disc, but you will also find works by Los Lobos, Neil Young, Giorgio Moroder and Lieber & Stoller!
The band is an interesting combination of hard swinging, ala Count Basie, but performing well known rock songs, as well as the fiendishly complex compositions of Frank Zappa. It all makes for a unique and very fun listen.
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As for the Zappa tunes, as usual for Palermo's band, the focus is on his early to mid 70's catalogue - specifically;
The Grand Wazoo - Cletus Awreetus Awrightus and Grand Wazoo
Roxy and Elsewhere - Pygmy Twylyte and Village of the Sun
Over-Nite Sensation - Fifty-Fifty
One Size Fits All - Po-Jama People, Evelyn, A Modified Dog and Andy
and Sleep Dirt's "Spider of Destiny" - which I'd completely forgotten about.
And they are all great done with Big Band arrangement - with the added treat of having original singer Napoleon Murphy Brock join the band for vocals on "Pygmy Twylyte", "Po-Jama People" and "Andy" (sounding at times like something Maceo Parker and his funky friends would do), Candy Zappa (Frank's little sister) singing a great "Evelyn, A Modified Dog", and Jenna McSwain singing on the gorgeous "Village of the Sun".
Interspersed between these fantastically arranged and played FZ songs and instrumental numbers are three of Palermo's own lively and excellent compositions, Moroder's "Scarface", Young's "Harvest Moon" (crooning jazz lounge cover), Los Lobos' "Kiko and the Lavender Moon" (sounding like something the band Morphine would record with Candy's sultry vocals), and Lieber and Stoller's "Is That All There Is?" (crooning lounge lizard time again). All done with some great soloing and truly playful spirit. Plus there is again a hidden track - same song as on his last album… but this time done as a barber shop quartet arrangement. And finally lest we not forget beside the great album title we get the hilarious liner notes - nice photo Ed.
Fun stuff - brilliantly done.