Ray Gelato

Full Flavour

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Ray Gelato, a key member of the British jump band the Chevalier Brothers during 1982-1988, plays tenor sax solos in the tradition of Illinois Jacqwuet and Charlie Ventura, in addition to taking vocals. In the Ray Gelato Giants, the role model is clearly Louis Prima, although with touches of Frank Sinatra, heated swing, and bits of bebop. Their debut record, The Full Flavour, features a hot septet (with trumpeter Dave Priseman, trombonist Dave Keech, and Al Nichools on tenor and alto) playing some Prima (including "That Old Black Magic" and a medley of "Basin Street Blues" and "Sleepy Time Down South"), Charlie Ventura ("Dark Eyes"), Dean Martin, Nat "King" Cole, and heated swing ("Apple Honey"). There are also two fine vocals by Claire Martin and a rare up-tempo version of "As Time Goes By." One of the best retro-swing releases of the mid-'90s.

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