Ron Bloom - SwingOrama.com
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Posted Online 11/30/00: http://www.swingorama.com/music/ronsreviews2.php
Midiri Brothers Orchestra - Finger Bustin’ (1999)
Reviewed: 21 Oct. 2000. Ratings: ****, (4 star rating) LLL
I regularly receive CDs by independent swing bands for review, and unfortunately, most aren't that great. This CD by a New Jersey band was a very pleasant exception. I’ve played it through a number of times while playing Backgammon on my computer. (A very nice combination.) The songs are of a wide variety, they are very enjoyable to listen to, and the musicianship is polished. They remind me of the Hotfoot Club somewhat. Clarinetist Joe Midiri shines, and his excellent arrangements are featured in most of the songs. The songs with vocals feature the very pleasant voice of Paula Johns. Most of the songs are performed by an excellent big band, and a couple with an excellent small group. I like “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (132 BPM), the moody cha-cha “Petite Fleur” (123 BPM), their upbeat version of “Bye-Bye Blackbird” (162 BPM). Very good versions of “Caledonia” (180 BPM) and “It Ain’t What You Do” (169 BPM) as well. A couple of scorchers and three ballads round out the set. If this band comes to play near you, I recommend you go check them out, and pick up a CD while you’re at it.