John La Barbera


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A superior arranger, John La Barbera utilized some of the top Los Angeles-based musicians on this big-band date (including his brother, drummer Joe La Barbera), importing his other musical brother, tenor and soprano saxophonist Pat La Barbera from Canada. Along the way one hears one of Woody Shaw's best compositions ("Moontrane"), an organ piece for Bill Cunliffe ("Pythodd Fellows"), the love theme from the film Apache ("My Love And I"), an obscure Duke Ellington number ("Fantaqzm"), the pop tune "Kyrie," Pat La Barbera's "Yours or Mine or Blues," and three originals by the leader. In addition to Pat and Joe La Barbera, key soloists include trumpeters Clay Jenkins and Wayne Bergeron, guitarist Larry Koonse, Bob Sheppard on soprano, altoist Kim Richmond, Bob Carr on bass clarinet, trombonist Andy Martin, and Bill Cunliffe on piano and organ. The writing gives each selection forward momentum and the results are never predictable. Highly recommended.

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