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Live At Blues Alley

The Taylor / Fidyk Big Band

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Album Review

The Taylor/Fidyk Big Band's second CD, taken from a performance at Blues Alley, captures the band on a peak evening, fueled by Mark Taylor's potent arrangements and instrumentalists who can build upon his charts without needless showboating. Taylor's originals include "Full Count" (which is a modern update on the old-fashioned tenor battle), the cool "Bradley's Bop House" and "The Gorillaman Blues," and the swinging "Full Count," which one could easily imagine being a part of Count Basie's repertoire had it been available to him. Taylor also brings fresh approaches to familiar works. He slowly builds the intensity in "Maiden Voyage," showcasing trombonist Jim McFalls to good effect, while he resists the usual racehorse tempo utilized by bands playing the bop favorite "Anthropology." Co-leader and drummer Steve Fidyk arranged one tune and it is a marvelous first effort, an extended workout of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."

Live At Blues Alley, The Taylor / Fidyk Big Band
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