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Friday, February 5, 2016

Hey! Dig That Crazy Band! - Gus Bivona

Dark Green
Hey! Dig That Crazy Band!
Gus Bivona And His Orchestra
Mercury Records MG 20157

From the back cover: Gus Bivona brings to his leadership of this great new orchestra the richness gathered up and assimilated from a most impressive history with the greatest bandleaders of our age. Add to this his experience in recent years as lead clarinet and alto sax soloist for M-G-M pictures, one of the most exacting assignments for a musical artist, and you have one of the most uniquely prepared musicians of our age for the demanding requirements of great band leadership.

Ever since Gus trekked westward as a member of Tommy Dorsey's rocking crew, and then decided to settle there because he loved the climate, he was destine to emerge as a bandleader of importance on his own. The climate that attracted him was not the kind you measure with thermometers and barometers. It was the musical climate he wanted, the climate of high craftsmanship, uninhibited experimenting and free creativity which pervades the musical world of the Californians. It was the excitement of the give-and-take and the friction of ideas which had shaped the brassy jazz of Stan Kenton and the soft intensity of Dave Brubeck. Now Gus Bivona's danceable rhythms and fresh harmonics fill out the western canvas by providing a musical bridge between the extremes in intensity between the Kenton and Brubeck schools.

From Billboard - November 17, 1956: Bivona's album debut on the label has every earmark of a click with the terping younger set. Here are great swing arrangements with masterful clarinet and alto sax leads, listening as sharp for sitting oldsters as for younger steppers. This is top craftsmanship in sound that packs originality and carries plenty of power for jock dancing spins. Can make a fine holiday package for families with young dancers in the house.

All Of You
My Ideal
Moten Swing
Una Mas
It's All Right With Me
Clarinet Parmesan
Chicago Cargo
Organ Grinders Swing
Dark Green
Stumbling Blocks
King Porter Stomp

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