For this effort, trumpeter Doc Severinsen, in one of his rare recordings away from a big band format, teams up with the reeds of Ernie Watts, guitarist Lee Ritenour, a variety of studio musicians and a large string orchestra to perform crossover-oriented music. With arrangements contributed by producer Jeff Tyzik and Allen Vizzutti, even such songs as "My Funny Valentine," "Take The 'A' Train" and "Maiden Voyage" are transformed into rather routine, funky dance music.
This is one of the first recorded works for Command by American trumpeter and bandleader Carl Hilding "Doc" Severinsen (Oregon, 1927) leading his own instrumental group. Doc in 1967 became conductor and since then his big band became one of the country views on 'The Tonight Show' on NBC. During his career collaborated on many occasions with the Command label. From the 80s directed various orchestras in the country until he left in 2007. But he still continues to act with the group 'Doc Severinsen & The Saint Miguel 5'. In this album he also shows his quality with the trumpet.
Jazz vocalist Connie Evingson is joined by a true all-star cast for Some Cats Know: Ray Brown, Al Grey, Doc Severinsen, and Jimmy Hamilton, to name a few. (Evingson's usual Minneapolis-based band is on hand as well, including Sanford Moore on piano, Terry Moore on bass, and Dave Karr on saxophone.) The song list is great, too: "I've Got the World on a String," "Yesterday/Yesterdays" (crossing Lennon-McCartney with Kern-Harbach), "All the Things You Are," "'Round Midnight," and "Anthropology." Highlights include a lickety-split Cole Porter melody of "I Love Paris" and "It's Alright with Me" punctuated by bursts of scat, sax, and percussion, and a lilting "Bluesette" with composer Toots Thielemans guesting on harmonica. (David Horiuchi)
This unusual session consists of a complex six-movement suite by J.J. Johnson featuring Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet over a brass choir (six trumpets, two trombones, two bass trombones, four French horns and two tubas), bass, drums, percussion and two harps. Often reminiscent of classical music, Johnson's writing allows plenty of room for Gillespie to improvise. The result is a rather unique set of music that is well worth searching for.