Well the new disc is finally in our hands and we’re happy it is. It could be in your hands too. Just drop in to CD Baby and download a copy, or better yet, come out to see us and pick one up in person.
In the meantime, Mike put together some notes:
What’s on Reunion Days?
1 King Cake (break me off a piece of that): (#40) A brass band style tune celebrating that tasty Mardis Gras treat, King Cake! I wrote this one for Carnival time 2010. Feiry solos by Matt Cappy, Trumpet, Tony Gairo, Alto Saxophone and Ron Bodanza, Piano.
2 Fizz: (#239) The northern California band, Mumbo Gumbo is one of my most favorite talents deserving wider recognition. All of their records are fantastic and if you like our cover of this clever Chris Webster tune, be sure to check them out! The fantastic Chelsea Dehener sings this one and Tony once again throws down on the Alto. That’s Jay Krush, Dean of Philadlephia Tuba players cleaning up the bottom here.
3 El Sueño: (#32) The Dream. The music for this latin number was written way back in 1998 and languished without a suitable lyric that is until the lovely and talented Kim Alexander attended a beautiful show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “Visions of Arcadia” was the inspiration for the dream-like words. We hear Tony here on Flute, Mike Lorenz on classical Guitar and the amazing Lauren Lark on the vocal.
4 Shockout: (#48) Another NOLA brass band style tune but with a twist! Solos here, by Matt on Trumpet and Ron on Piano lift the 2nd line right out of the parade.
5 I Believe to my Soul: (#46) My arrangement of this Ray Charles classic is acutally an adaptation of another arrangement by Lewis Jones, done only a few years after Brother Ray’s original in. Lauren Lark makes you believe, Tony weeps on the Alto and Mike Lorenz plays the natural blues on this.
6 From Ab to C: (#111) An amazing proto-bebop tune from Louis Armstrong’s long-time Pianist, fellow Philadelphian, Billy Kyle. This transcritption is from the incredible John Kirby Sextet in 1939! To our knowledge, this is the first re-recording of this gem in 75 years. Here, Matt Cappy plays the Charlie Shavers part, Tony Gairo is Buster Bailey, Lou Fuiano is Russell Procope, Ron Bodanza is Billy Kyle, Mike Hood is John Kirby and Rob Smith is O’Neill Spencer. It’s harder than it sounds!
7 The Snap: Swing-Ska was a thing back in 1996 and I wrote this tune for the great and venerable Philadelphia Ska band, Ruder Than You of which I was a member at the time. To get an idea how seminal this tune is, it bears the number “2” in our our books. Randy Kaprlick tears up the Trombone break on this and once again, Chelsea Dehner tells it like it is!
8 (#55) Hollywood: Another tune from 1998 languishing until saved by the lyrical muse, Kim Alexander. A straight up Ska tune with lots of jazz sensibilty. We hear from Lou on Baritone Saxophone, Matt on Trumpet, Tony on Alto and the great Dave Champion on Trombone. That’s Darren Keith laying down the drums and the great Joe Napoli with the upbeat guitar.
9 (#72) Reunion Days: Written sitting cross-legged on the bed in a cottage at my childhood beach summer 2012. To relcaim, as an sdult, a space and a place filled with memory and meaning was a powerful and unexpected event. This is the sound of what it felt like that week. Lou again on Bari and Mike Hood with the Trombone solo here.
10 (#207) The Late, Late Show: A great little adaptation/arrangement of the Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald classic by the great arranger and transciber, Henry Francis. Matt and Tony trade amazing ideas and Lauren sings and swings her heart out here!
11 (#98) Yesterday’s Icecubes (Are Water Today): Believe it or not, another 1939 never-recorded-since transcription by the Raymond Scott Quintette. The only recording of this is from a radio transcription! We’ve included a re-creation of the orginal announcer’s bumper. Deceptively difficult as all Raymond Scott tunes, made more so in that all his intricate arrangements were memorized and seldom if ever written down! Matt Trumpet, Tony Clarinet, Lou Tenor Saxophone, Ron Piano, Mike Bass, Rob Drums. Just like in 1939!
12 (#20) Give It Up (Or Let Me Go): From the virtuostic Bonnie Raitt’s first album in 1973. Delta Blues meets gutbucket dixieland. Boy this sure is a fun one to play! As you’ve heard on our first album and certainly on this one, the blues runs deep in all of us and most assuredly informs all my writing. The bluesy Frank Velardo slings the guitar here, Matt solos on Trumpet and Tony takes us out on Clarinet while Chelsea sings the scolding blues.
All arrangements and notes by Mike Hood.