Jack Kilby and the Front Line is reviewed by BVS Reviews

by Bruce VonStiers

Kilby’s Interesting Album

Bruce Von Stiers

Jack Kilby is a jazz drummer and band leader. He formed his current band, The Front Line, in 2014. Since that time Kilby and his band have been heard at several key venues.

Kilby recorded an album titled Love Is A Song Anyone Can Sing.

The album is being released on the Crab Shack Music label. It contains twenty-one songs and has a play time of an hour and fifteen minutes. The album was produced by Kilby, Carroll Dashiel III and Van.

The members of The Front Line are Charles Owens, John D’Earth, Elad Cohen, Allyn Johnson, Kris Monson and of course, Kilby. Owens plays tenor sax and D’Earth is on trumpet. Cohen plays the trombone, while Johnson is on piano. Monson plays bass and Kilby is on drums and does percussion.

There are several special guests on the album. They are Antonio Hart, Christie Dashiell, Mark G. Meadows, Braxton Cook, Soloman Howard, Marcus Tenney and Peter Del Grosso.

In between the songs, Kilby has installed interludes. But even before the first song, there is a lyrical introduction by Micah Robinson.

That flows right into the very busy, toe-tapping title track, Love Is A Song Anyone Cans Sing. The song has a lot of great trumpet.

Then there is a piano laden interlude called With Love From Kris Monson.

Hipsippy Blues was a hit for Art Blakely about sixty years ago. Kilby and his band do a great job with the song too.

A light, and almost Hawaiian sound can be heard in the guitar laden interlude called With Love From Sam Blakelock.

Pure Imagination was a magical song written by Anthony Newley and sung by Gene Wilder in Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. I have heard the song covered as both a vocal and instrumental piece. But I had never heard it done with a jazz arrangement until this album. The main parts of the song where the vocals would have been are wonderfully done by trumpet. Other parts of the song include some great piano, bass, drum and sax.

The next interlude is quick and has a family fair in the park kind of tone. It is listed as being from the house band.

Then the band does a nice job with the Herbie Hancock song A Tribute To Someone.

A sad and gentle trumpet can be heard in More From the House Band, another interlude.

Toe tapping, head bopping big Band music can be heard in back of some fun vocals on Sensitive Like Ladies.

Radiohead is a British band with some interesting takes on rock music. One of their songs is a trombone infused, jazz blues styled song called Life In A Glasshouse. Kilby and his band do a pretty decent job on their cover of the song for this album.

Terrific piano can be found in the band’s rendition of Herbie Hancock’s song Driftin‘.

Sad, steel pedal sounding music can be heard in With Love from Ian Dansey, another interlude.

Jupiter is a segment of the Gustav Holst orchestral suite, The Planets. It is nicely done for this album and features Antonio Hart on saxophone.

With Love from Mark G. Meadows is an interlude that has some terrific piano.

Colors of the Wind was the theme song for the Disney animated feature film, Pocahontas, sung by Judy Kuhn. On this album, noted jazz vocalist Christie Dashiell provides a great rendition of the song.

Continuing on with that sad pedal music is the interlude More Love from Ian Dansey.

Christie Dashiell once again provides wonderful vocals, this time on Pure Imagination (re-imagined).

The album ends with a strange instrumental bit called Micah Robinson Concludes. From the end of the bit there is over four minutes of silence. Then there is a cool hidden track that lasts a couple of more minutes.

This was a very interesting album. I have reviewed albums before that included interludes but none like the ones here. Each interlude provides a unique spacer between songs. As for the songs themselves, the original compositions were very good and the arrangement of the others were well done. Jack Kilby assembled some very talented musicians for his band and, along with the guest performers, provided and interesting and entertaining jazz album.

Love Is A Song Anyone Can Sing can be found at CD Bay, iTunes and other online and traditional music outlets.

Check out www.jackkilbymusic.com to find out more about the band and this album.

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