UNEXPECTED!

THE PHIL COLLINS BIG BAND                                                                                                        A Hot Night in Paris                                                                                                                           WEA 3984272212 (issued on Atlantic in the USA)

Collins – dms; Daniel Fornero, Harry Kim, Tito Carillo, Alan Hood, Ron Modell – tpt/flg; Arturo Velasco, Scott Bliege, Mark Bettcher – tbn; Antonio Garcia – bs tbn; Gerald Albright, Matt James – as; Larry Panella, Chris Collins, Ian Nevins – ts; Kevin Sheehan – bar; Brad Cole – kybs; Daryl Sturmer – gtr; Doug Richardson – bs gtr; Luis Conti – perc. Add George Duke – pno; James Carter – ts; Arif Mardin – cond (9). [Paris – 1998].

Sussudio/That’s All/Invisible Touch/Hold my Heart/Chips & Salsa/I Don’t Care Anymore/Milestones/Against All Odds/Pick Up the Pieces/The Los Endos Suite. [TT: 66:00]

I know, this isn’t very new, but I recently picked up a copy and it’s worth taking notice. You’re probably saying, “Phil Collins… you must be joking!” Yet this former Genesis drummer is as enamored of jazz and big bands as is Charlie Watts (The Rolling Stones) or Ginger Baker (Cream), and he can pull it off, too. Imagine something in the Maynard Ferguson or Buddy Rich vein, with a shot of New Testament Basie and you’ll be well within the ball-park… not as bombastic as Stan Kenton, mind. Only two covers – all else written by Collins (some being former pop hits) and arranged by the following: Mike Barone, John Clayton, Jr., Sammy Nestico, Gerald Albright, David Stout, Arif Mardin, Harry Kim. Soloists are: Gerald Albright, Arturo Velasco, Chris Collins, Larry Panella, Harry Kim, Brad Cole, Luis Conte, Alan Hood Daryl Sturmeyer, George Duke, and James Carter. And no long, loud drum solos!

Well-recorded with real depth and breadth in the French capitol, this is a worthy big band album – I gather that Collins has had to give up playing drums due to wrist difficulties (tendonitis being an occupational hazard). So if you are as into big bands as I am, get this and file it alongside that double set from Charlie Watts’ big band… some out there in other realms do really care about this music! Recommended to y’all.

PETER B. LOWRY

Published: IAJRC JOURNAL; Vol 43, No 1; March 2010 – p. 65.

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