The actual title of the album says “Introducing The Scott Silbert Big Band” but this band needs no introduction, as the sounds here are no strangers to your ears. Hopefully, they smoking reads of vintage swing are familiar to you; if not, well, maybe this isn’t an introduction to a new band, but to a better way of life!
Tenor saxist Scott Silbert leads a 15 member ensemble through vintage charts from the 30s-40s as well as a couple Depression Era originals. Four beats to the bar is the thing here, and step right up to it, with Helen Humes-inspired vocalist Gretchen Migley cooing through a Basie-ish beat on “Jump Children” and bold and brassy with trumpeter Josh Kauffman on Harry James’ “11:60 pm”. Silbert himself is a Louie Prima jive mood on the R&Bish jive of “I Want A Roof Over My Head” while blowing a velvety clarinet on “Lullaby In Rhythm” and Kansas City’d “Stompin’ At The Savoy”. His tenor sears through the patented Jimmie Lunceford two stepper “Annie Laurie” while Leigh Pilzer’s baritone is as thick as molasses with Ken Kimery doing some Krupa’d tom tomming on “Shipyard Rumble”. This album reminds you that music was made for dancing, not navel gazing, something today’s artists need to keep thinking during their endless cacophonic solos. Here’s why you should like jazz.