AllToGetHer - Jimmy Cannon Big Band
"AllToGetHer" ("some tunes in tune with today's ongoing quest to get the girl") is The Jimmy Cannon Big Band's excellent new CD featuring leader Jimmy's voice and great arrangements by Murray Morrison and Evan Jolly of ten standards for the 18 piece big band.
If you remember Jimmy primarily as a saxophonist from Monday nights at the Star & Garter around 2000, you may be surprised at how he has developed as a singer, though his sax solos always displayed a thorough knowledge of the lyrics of the tunes he played and a vocalist's sensitivity, and now his singing exhibits the same creativity and inventiveness he brings to the tenor and soprano.
"You go to my head" is the opener, introduced by just drums and Jimmy's voice before the full band slides in swinging effortlessly. This is followed by an interesting stop start arrangement of "All of you".
"Body and Soul" is the sole instrumental on the record, and is a tenor sax feature for Jimmy. Since Coleman Hawkins' hit recording of this tune back in 1939 it has been a testing ground for all tenor players and Jimmy acquits himself really well with a melodic and cliche free solo. The arrangement by Murray Morrison is wonderful, "Concerto for Saxophone" anyone?
"A Foggy Day" and "I can't give you anything but love" follow with the band hitting a rich swinging groove. "Skylark", for me, is the best track - showcasing both Jimmy's vocal strength and sensitivity - it builds to an almost operatic climax - a beautiful arrangement by Evan Jolly.
"The more I see you" lopes along featuring an inventive alto solo by Matthew Hope. Kicked off with piano "Slow boat to China" is taken quite fast, with boppish riffs from the band and links directly via the lyrics into the ballad "Alone Together".
"Old Devil Moon" is the closer featuring vocal acrobatics by Jimmy and what sounds to my untutored ears a fiendishly complex big band chart.
Great vocals and a great big band - more info about them and Jimmy's other musical projects can be found on www.jimmycannon.com - the site features excerpts from the CD so you can "try before you buy" . Jimmy and the Big Band are featured live every second Wednesday at the Bulls Head in Barnes - probably the most famous jazz pub in the UK. What a treat for Londoners! - we hope Jimmy will manage to slip in a gig with Max & the Trio at the Star & Garter down here in darkest Cornwall sometime this year!
The CD can be obtained online from www.jazzcds.co.uk and is well worth the asking price of £12.
Added: Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Reviewer: Rob Follett
Related Link: Jimmy Cannon Website