Pratt Brothers Big Band

Groovy Encounter

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Beautifully executed and featuring a top-notch roster of musicians, brothers Dean Pratt and Michael Pratt charge forward with unmitigated energy from the top. This is a well-rehearsed 17-piece unit, sounding much like the polished versions of the Woody Herman Orchestra in the '60s and earlier. In addition to Dean's trumpet and Michael's drumming, soloists include Willie Williams and Rich Perry on saxophones, Don Sickler on trumpet, Benny Powell and Scott Whitfield on trombones and Ronnie Mathews on piano. Carolyn Snell's cloying vocals hearken to an earlier era, her phrasing dated yet immaculate. The band is best when flag-waving, which it does often and well. The opener, "Cherokee," sings an anthem of vigorous alacrity that never subsides. A bit slick throughout, perhaps, this album should please those who love the traditional big band sound.

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