The Pasadena Roof OrchestraView in iTunes
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The Pasadena Roof Orchestra was formed in Nov. 1969 by Johnny Arthy, a lover of 1920's jazz who sought to lead a dance-oriented jazz-influenced big band specializing in music from the 1923-37 period. The British band gained its name because Arthy liked the obscure song "Pasadena." The orchestra had its first gig in April 1970 and soon Arthy came across a windfall, 1, 500 original arrangements from the 1920's practically given away by an elderly lady whose father had been musical director of a dance band in the twenties. The P.R.O. started out playing once a week but, after the success of their first album in 1974, they turned professional and began working much more often. A European tour in 1975 added to the group's momentum and since then they have worked constantly and recorded fairly regularly (in the early days for Transatlantic and later on mostly for their own P.R.O. label). No famous soloists are among their alumni since the Pasadena Roof Orchestra is very much a dance band, but the group has long featured colorful ensembles, period vocals and brief individual spots, very much in the early pre-swing style which they treat with great respect. ~ Scott Yanow