Out of This World

Bobo Moreno / Ernie Wilkins Almost Big Band

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Out of This World Review

by Ken Dryden

Vocalist Bobo Moreno was surrounded by music throughout his upbringing thanks to his stepfather, jazz bassist Bo Stief. He detoured into rock for a time then came back to jazz; this meeting with the Ernie Wilkins' Almost Big Band is evidently his debut recording in a jazz setting. Wilkins wrote an extensive number of arrangements prior to his death in 1999, so pianist Udo van Boven and trombonist Vincent Nilsson took on the task of condensing his material, played here by the dozen instruments making up the Ernie Wilkins' Almost Big Band, which has been led by baritone saxist Per Goldschmidt since 2000. No one can doubt the young man's enthusiasm, he has a strong baritone voice, though at times he hams things up a bit too long, such as in a less than stellar "Roll'em Pete" or the overly hip take of "Miles Ahead" with its awkward scatting. His strength is in ballads, as he is better able to show of the power of his voice while accenting its best qualities in classics like "Teach Me Tonight" and a strangely ominous "Out of This World." In any case, this is a promising first step, so with time and the proper training, he could turn into a major jazz singer.

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