The Midiri Brothers Orchestra

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Midiri Brothers Sextet
Ext. 19

(Midiri Music)
Joe Midiri, clarinet, saxophone; PaulMidiri, vibraphone, marimba, trombone; Pat Mercuri, guitar; DanTobias, trumpet; Gary Cattley, bass, tuba; Jim Lawlor, drums

The Midiri Brothers, a sextet co-led by clarinetist Joe Midiri (who also plays alto and soprano) and his twin brother Paul Midiri (vibes and occasional trombone), have been one of the consistent hits of the Orange County Classic Jazz Festival the past few years. With trumpeter Dan Tobias, guitarist Pat Mercuri, bassist Gary Cattley and drummer Jim Lawlor, they perform music inspired by the Benny Goodman Sextet but build on BG’s performances rather than merely recreating the past.

Their previous recordings featured many of their hottest numbers such as “Air Mail Special” and “Seven Come Eleven.” For Ext. 19, the Midiris mix together some standards (“Jeep’s Blues,” “My Gal Sal,” “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby,” a rare small-group version of “Northwest Passage” and “Alice Blue Gown”) with lesser-known material. The latter includes “You’re All The World To Me” (from a Fred Astaire movie), “Jumpin’ With Judy,” “Forevermore,” Richard Rodgers’ “Maria,” the Scottish hymn “How Great Thou Art” and two originals.

Although many of the songs are not too familiar, the Midiri Brothers put on another memorable show, varying tempos and moods, alternating slower pieces with more explosive performances and showing that they are one of the finest swing combos of the past decade.

The Midiri Brothers deserve to be household names in the jazz world. Ext. 19 and their previous recordings are available on midiribros.com.

by Scott Yanow
L.A. Jazz Scene

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This page last updated May 31 2009 01:15:42 -0400
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