Eyal Vilner Big Band
The Eyal Vilner Big Band have built up a lot of momentum with their last 3 albums, and this 4th effort continues their jazz and swing prowess with 18 of New York’s best musicians on hand.
“Downhill” gets the listen off to a vibrant and sophisticated start of big band sounds with hard bop nods, where horn solos are in attendance, and Duke Ellington’s “In A Mellow Tone” follows and indeed stays calm with keys and strong, soaring vocals from Brianna Thomas.
Elsewhere, the swift shuffling and washboard fun of “Dinah” is perfectly suited for the dance floor, while the elegant “Do You What It Means” offers us piano and brass solos on the feel good tune.
Deeper cuts like the festive, solo filled “Big Apple Contest” and the soulful, retro sounds of “My Baby Just Cares For Me” keep the song craft top notch, and near the end “5-10-15 Hours” lets the baritone sax shine on the ultra melodic album highlight with call and response fun. The album exits on the ambient “I’m On My Way To Canaan Land” where emphasis on drums invades the highly creative, flute friendly and cultured conclusion.
Swing Out! was recorded live in the studio, and it’s quite obvious with the boundless energy present, though the flawless musicianship hardly seems possible without overdubs. Vilner, an Israel native who now lives in NYC, crafts one memorable tune after another here, primarily rooted in the ‘50s style of Big Bands, although all ages will appreciate the timeless appeal here.
Travels well with: Duke Ellington– Blues In Orbit; Count Basie– Warm Breeze