This review is dedicated to all the "Big Band" fans who always have a difficult time finding new sounds they can dig! Doug Richards is a great composer and arranger and on this blog I want to focus on his magnificent arranging skills. As all great singers know, finding great arrangers is one of the toughest tasks they face, and yet, without a great arrangement, the material they sing can be very ordinary.
Doug Richards is in a class with the greatest arrangers I know. How did I come to this conclusion? Well, in listening to his new CD, "It's All In The Game" it becomes instantly clear that while the songs on this CD are old, familiar tunes, Doug's arrangements have turned them into something new and exciting.
Richards actually recorded "It's All In The Game" in 2001 but with big bands out of style and the record industry in sad shape, he found it difficult to find a label to release the project. Thankfully for all of us, Richards released the CD on March 4,2016.
The musicians that are members of the band, "The Great American Music Ensemble" are all "best in class" including the vocalist Rene Marie who fits into the big band sound perfectly. Listen to the "YouTube" videos attached, and you will be in for a rare musical treat!
1. "In The Mood"
2. "Can't Help Lovin' That Man Of Mine"
3. "Clap Yo' Hands"
5. "When It's Sleepy Time Down South"
6. "West End Blues"
7. "I've Got The World On a String"
8. "I Am Loved"
9. "September In The Rain"
10. "April In Paris"
12. "They All Laughed"
13. "Ain't Misbehavin"
14. "Embraceable You"
15. "Bird Blues"
Doug Richards-Director/Arranger Marty Nau-Lead Alto Sax/Bari Sax
Jim Nesbit-Alto/Soprano/Bari Sax, Skip Gailes-Tenor/Soprano/Alto Sax, Flute,
Basset Horn,Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Bass Clarinet
Contra Bassoon John Wynn-Tenor/Soprano/Alto Sax, Clarinet
Rob Holmes-Bari/Alto Sax, Flute, Bass Bass Clarinet
Clarinet Roy Muth-Lead Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Bob Ransom-Trumpet, Flugelhorn John D'earth-Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Rob DeDominick-Trumpet, Flugelhorn Jim McFalls-Trombone, Eughonium
Dean Englert-Trombone, Euphonium Lee Gause-Bass Trombone
Weldon Hill-Piano, Electric Piano Victor Dvoskin-Bass
Howard Curtis-Drums, Percussion
Joe Kennedy Jr-Violin