Rich Willey’s Boptism Big Band – “Down & Dirty” – Wise Cat Records
Looking at the CD cover I immediately thought, “my stars, how many musicians are there in this group?” Answer, and according to the liner notes, forty-six. That is more than a big band ensemble, that’s a symphony orchestra. And with track names like “Boogie Feast,” “Dancing Hippo,” “Funk Heap,” and of course, the title track, I thought I was probably in for a pretty good time. I’m not sure how this work should best be classified. I mean, the words “big band” shows up right smack dab in the title. And then there are all those many musicians which also says big band. But for whatever reason, I didn’t get that impression. I mean, there are clearly elements of big band styled jazz, but also funk, Latin and shoot, even a bit of good ole rock and roll. I was tappin’ my foot and bouncing around in my listening chair having a great ole time. This is fun music, regardless of how it might be classified.