Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass

Big Band Jazz, Vol. 1

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The 1977 version of Rob McConnell's Boss Brass is similar to the arranger/valve trombonist's 1997 band. The personnel includes such standbys as trumpeters Guido Basso and Sam Noto, trombonist Ian McDougall, the tenors of Eugene Amaro and Rick Wilkins, guitarist Ed Bickert, bassist Don Thompson and drummer Terry Clarke. McConnell's conservative charts swing and contain subtle surprises, with "Just Friends," "Street of Dreams," and Bob Brookmeyer's "Dirty Man" being among the better selections. Since many of the Boss Brass' earlier recordings were only made available domestically by the now-defunct Pausa label, this worthy music will be difficult to find.