Larry Patch Paciorek
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TOPS BAND PERSONNEL
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1. You Make Me Feel So Young 2.5MB - Mack Gordon, Joseph Myron. The theme of this CD, indeed the idea behind the TOPS Swingband, this hopeful song is treated cheerfully by Betsy Guy. Jazz solos are Jim Wonnacott on trumpet and Buddy Sullivan on tenor sax.
2. Jericho as in Joshua fit the Battle of 1.1MB - Spiritual arranged by Chris Sharp. Bob McKee's drumming drives this fun flag-waving rendition. The walls surely do tumble!
3. Georgia On My Mind 1.6MB - Hoagy Carmichael, Stuart Gorrell. Ron Davis' plaintive and rich vocal does more than justice to the tune that Ray Charles made famous. Hoagy and Ray would have loved this!
4. Exactly Like You 2.3MB- Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields. Betsy makes this great old love song ever so believable and sincere! Once again solos by Buddy on tenor, Jim on trumpet.
5. My Heart Belongs to Daddy 1.8MB -Cole Porter. A swingin' instrumental features the whole band with solos by Buddy on alto sax and Dick Wooley on trombone.
6. September Song 3MB-Maxwell Anderson, Kurt Weill. The TOPS featured tenor sax man Larry Patch sings an emotionally charged version of this elderly man's musical memoir...and does so with great feeling.
7. Bye Bye Blackbird 1.4MB - Ray Henderson, Mort Dixon. This light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek instrumental features all the band's sections with solos once again by Buddy Sullivan on tenor and Jim Wonnacott on trumpet.
8. Route 66 (Get Your Kicks on) 3.8MB - Bobby Troup wrote this as a sort of sideman's lament for the long and boring bus or car trips bands use to take pre-interstates from L.A. to the east. Ron Davis sings it with great groovy gusto!
9. Sophisticated Lady 3MB - Duke Ellington, Mitchell Parish, Irving Mills. Buddy Sullivan, a terrific jazz tenor sax player by any standard, is also a first rate professional by any standard. He quite willingly answered the TOPS band's need for a lead alto sax player, a position with an almost totally different set of demands. He's featured here, quite wonderfully!
10. It's Alright with Me 1.9MB- Cole Porter. Larry Patch takes us to the very heart of the fun, exciting "Rat Pack" era of Las Vegas showrooms with this rousing version of a Cole Porter favorite.
11. The Sunny Side of the Street 2.5MB - Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields.There's no question about which side of the street Betsy prefers. Dick Wooley and Buddy solo on trombone and tenor sax and the band plays a nifty jazz ensemble interlude.
12. Baubles, Bangles and Beads 2MB - Alexander Borodin, Robert Wright, George Forest. A tune borrowed from the classics to become a Broadway musical, this instrumental has a few different twists, jazz solos by Dick and Buddy and a "fade into the sunset" ending.
13. Nature Boy 1.5MB - Eden Ahbez. Nat "King" Cole made this into a big hit. Ron Davis' version gives it a free, soulful rendition over an interesting, rather mysterious musical arrangement .The plaintive solo sax is Buddy Sullivan.
14. The Autumn Leaves 2.8MB - Andre Tannenberger, Alexander Perls. Ron turns this ballad into a swingin' jazz rendition with all sorts of twists and turns in the melody and phrasing, a real masterpiece of fun. Note the saxes "falling leaves" background phrases. The band loves playing the hard charging ensemble 2 nd chorus.
15. Goody Goody 2.3MB - Malneck, Johnny Mercer Betsy gives "just desserts" to the mythical rat who left her, with the help of the band's glee club and, when we perform in concert, the audience. The lyrics are manageable for all. Solos are by Jim Wonnacott, trumpet and Buddy on alto sax.
16. The Surrey with the Fringe on Top 874KB - Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers.One Band member renamed this "The Fury with the Singe On Top" for its up tempo pace and the challenges it presents to the players. Done right, it really "cooks." Solos are Dick Wooley and Buddy Sullivan.
17. I'll Be Seeing You 2MB- Irving Kahal, Sammy Fain. Betsy closes with a TOPS wish for all of us!
Note: All arrangements for this CD are by Dick Wooley except "Jericho."