Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Ron Aprea Big Band Performs Outstanding Tribute to Count Basie At Trumpets In Montclair, NJ

Ron Aprea is a massively-talented musician.  His career is star-studded, playing with some of the greatest bands in the history of American music.  His instruments are alto and flute but his arranging talents are also sensational.  His latest gig is at Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair, NJ where on the last Sunday of each month, he has assembled an all-star roster of 16 musicians who perform a tribute to Count Basie.  This is no ordinary tribute band.  Every player in this band can solo at the very highest level.  Add to this the fact that Ron has the original scores of two of Basie's top arrangers, Frank Foster and Neil Hefti, the results produce wonderful music.  Hearing this outstanding band playing the Basie's famous arrangements at Trumpets brought me back to my youth in the early 60's.  During this time, my music friends and I would travel to Birdland in NYC to hear Jazz at its best.  Birdland was a really small Jazz club and the first time I saw The Count Basie Orchestra there I was amazed that they were able to squeeze the entire band into a tiny spot in the front of the club.  Trumpets Jazz Club reminds me of Birdland, small space but world-class Jazz.

Ron Aprea has put together one of the best bands I have experienced and playing Basie with some of the original charts is too good to describe.  You have to heard it to believe it.  And if all this great Basie Jazz sound is not enough for you,  Ron has added one of the best band singers I have heard in many a year, Angela DeNiro.  Angela has a pure strong voice and Ron put together some outstanding arrangements for some classic tunes for her. She did a terrific job singing "I'm Old Fashioned"and Ron's arrangement had the tempo moving up and down and all around.  Angela also sang Frank Foster's arrangement of "Young and Foolish" which would have made Frank proud!

Trumpets is an excellent Jazz Club that is owned by Enrico Granafel who is one of the best Jazz Harp players in the country.  He joined the band to play Ron Aprea's arrangement of "Lover Man" that was just about perfect.  

I have just heard Ron Aprea's new CD, "Ron Aprea Pays Tribute To John Lennon and the Beatles" and it's outstanding.  I intend to publish a review shortly.

Sadly, great big-bands that play live gigs are really hard to find today. If you love the Basie
songbook, and who doesn't, and you want to hear it played just like the Count played it you must mark your calendar to be at Trumpets on Sunday June 28th to hear Ron Aprea's Big-Band.

Band Personnel:

Ron Aprea-Alto Sax and Flute           Trumpets: Dave Rogers, Shawn Edmonds, Justin Hernandez
Angela DeNiro-Vocals                                         Don Pfleger
Jim Young-Drums                               Bones: Matt Haviland, Rick Faulkner, Ben Williams, Joe 
Tim Givens-Bass                                             Randazzo
Cecilia Coleman-Piano                       Saxes: Ron Aprea, Jeff Zelnick, Joe Stelutti, Marty Fogel,
                                                                        Ed Xiques

In case you have any doubts as to how good this band is, listen to the "YouTube" I have attached of the Ron Aprea Band playing at Trumpets in Montclair, NJ!

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