Posted online 12.27.01 http://www.jazzreview.com/cdreview.cfm?ID=1975
Featured Artist: Midiri Brothers Septet
CD Title: Live! At Bridgewater
Record Label: MIDI
Style: Big Band / Swing
Musicians: Joe Midiri, clarinet, tenor saxophone. Paul Midiri, vibraphone, drums. John Colianni, piano. Pat Mercuri, guitar. Dan Tobias, trumpet. Gary Cattley, bass. Jim Lawlor, drums.
Review: The Midiri Brothers are back with another swinging big band/swing CD collection and it is a delight! Recorded live at Bridgewater, New Jersey as a tribute to Benny Goodman's small "chamber jazz ensembles," these little known arrangements were hand-transcribed by Paul Midiri and presented to a live audience. A co-sponsor of this event was the New Jersey Jazz Society.
What is remarkable about this collection of 12 songs is that it has the genuine feel of a big band era outing, like stepping back in time and walking into a nice nightclub and there is this great sound and setting right out of the big band era. A unique listening experience in that you feel you are there in person.
Songs include "Six Appeal," "Breakfast Feud," "As Long As I Live," "Gone With What Draft," "More Than You Know," "I Found A New Baby," "On The Alamo," "Seven Come Eleven," "Please," "Lotis Blossom," the enduring 1934 song "Emaline," and "How Great Thou Art." Paul Midiri gives an outstanding vibes performance on George Gershwin's "More Than You Know," complimented by a great rendition by pianist John Colianni.
Jazz fans who enjoy big band and the swing era will fall in love with the sounds on this collection. A firstrate collection that is perfect in recreating/creating an atmosphere of the swing era in an honest, entertaining manner.
This CD is enjoyable and a listening pleasure. Every musician is in topnotch form. The solo work is terrific, and "More Than You Know" is worthy of air play time, and one of the best recordings of this song in recent years. "Emaline" captures the big band era perfectly, and with style and flavor!
Pat Mercuri gives the audience some fine guitar solo work as does Gary Cattley on bass and Jim Lawlor on drums. Dan Tobias shines with his creative trumpet work. Joe Midiri is perfect on clarinet. Paul Midiri is one of the finest vibraphone performers around.
Five stars. Excellent. Buy 2 copies, one for yourself, and one for a friend. Great entertainment.