Mr. B / Bird of Paradise Orchestra

Hallelujah Train

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Mr. B. (Mark Braun) is a talented boogie-woogie pianist who on this CD teams up successfully with bassist Paul Keller's Bird of Paradise orchestra, a seven-year-old big band from Michigan. The arrangements smoothly integrate Mr. B. into the orchestra and these enthusiastic live performances are often quite memorable. Although largely a "no-name" big band, the many soloists are consistently talented (with the standouts being Mark Hynes on tenor, altoist Scott Peterson and trumpeter Paul Finkbeiner) and the pianist is in consistently inspired form. Highlights include "Hallelujah Train," "Brauny," tributes to Little Brother Montgomery, Horace Silver and Eddie Palmieri, an exciting rendition of "Down the Road Apiece," "Air Mail Special" and a lengthy "B's Boogie Woogie." Highly recommended.

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