Another Monday Night
Label: MediaMix Entertainment
1. Burrito Malo
2. Another Monday Night At Maxwell's
3. And Suddenly You Were Gone
4. Buddy's Thang
5. Busy Body Blues
6. The Deacon's Daughter
7. The Gal From Joes
8. Dance With You
9. Back In New York City
10. Early Morning Special
11. Come On Home
12. Big Band Blues
-DiHo, December 07 Review in Austria's "Concerto" (5 stars)Swingadelic has become a frequent Monday night presence at Maxwell's in Hoboken. On their fourth album, Another Monday Night (MediaMix - 2004), they play a cross section of their small big band take on swing with an R&B flavor. With one exception, Duke Ellington's "The Gal from Joe's," the selections are composed by band members. Things kick off with a Latin-tinged "Burrito Malo," written and arranged by trombonist Rob Susman. Tenor saxophonist Paul Carlon was the source for "Another Monday Night at Maxwell's," an easy swing piece with a late night feeling. "And Suddenly You Were Gone" is a lovely ballad penned by Neal Pawley, another trombone section member. Buddy Terry has been contributing his sax mastery to Swingadelic for many years, and on "Buddy's Thang" he provides a funky piece that grabs a groove and does not let go. "Busy Body Blues" is a Basie-ish number from trumpeter Carlos Francis. Leader and bassist Dave Post goes gospel on "The Deacon's Daughter," a tune that brings New Orleans funeral parades to mind, with a hint of Horace Silver added. Pianist and vocalist John Bauers provided words and music for "Dance With You" and "Back in New York City," two new songs that sound like they have been around for more than a while. Pawley grabs a resonator guitar and sings his country blues in "Early Morning Special" with backing by two saxes and the rhythm section. Carlon and Bauers collaborated on the music and wry lyric for "Come Back Home," with a vocal from Bauers. Things close out with Post's "Big Band Blues," with Bauers telling the Swingadelic story. These guys are versatile, talented and swinging. What more could you need?
-Joe Lang, Jersey JazzAnother Monday Night is the fourth effort from the Manhattan based Swingadelic outfit which can range from eight to eleven pieces depending on the gig or other variables of the present day music business. Of the dozen tunes performed, seven of them are instrumentals while the remaining five are vocals presumably from keyboardist John Bauers (slideman Neal Pawley picks up a resonator guitar and sings "Early Morning Special.") Save for a fairly obscure Duke Ellington number, "The Gal From Joe's," the material is fresh, it and the charts coming from mostly within the band. The title of the disc springs from Paul Carlon's original "Another Monday Night at Maxwell's," a nightspot in Hoboken where the unit has been holding court for over four years. The only highly visible name present would be that of veteran saxophonist Buddy Terry, who contributed a two tenor winner featuring him and Carlon in "Buddy's Thang" and has been with the group for eight years. Altough Swingadelic can sometimes be a little too far on the commercial side for these tases, this one should suit followers of the big band sound to a tee.
-Cadence MagazineAn amazing eleven (sometimes twelve) musicians band, with the original sound of the thirties, forties and fifties big bands and, this time, with a more jazzy oriented songs than on their previous cd. Swingadelic tastefully combine big bands jazz and swing elements as Duke Ellington's or Count Bassie's orchestras did, with an skilful faultless instrumental sound quality they have got along their weekly shows at Club Maxwell's in Hoboken, New Jersey. Besides, Swingadelic give a personal unique vision of the special jazz they play because, although they do it on the classic way, they also include contemporary concepts and elements that help to enrich the music and make it sound different and original. Dave Post is band founder, leader and bass player, plus song writer of various tracks included on the cd but overall he is the real driving force of this ambitious project. The cd includes seven instrumental and five vocal songs. Original classic tunes combine with extreme good taste, while musicians produce high quality solos with a virtuoso mastery performing that will not let you indifferent. An excellent record that will satisfy every jazz lover. GREAT.
-Vincente Zumel, La Hora Del Blues, BarcelonaOn "Another Monday Night," the latest CD from Swingadelic, the accomplished "little" big band from the NY area shines as an ensemble as much as they do a collection of prolific soloists, proving the timelessness of sparkling and proficient jazz in an era when it sometimes feels like the great American invention has been marginalized. Bristling with solos of melody and bravura - like the stratospheric tenor of "Dance With You" or the deft piano skills of the "Puttin' On the Ritz"-like "Early Morning Special" - this group resembles no less a band (though half the size) than the famed Count Basie Orchestra, investing each number with volleys of inspired but precise mayhem. Can they swing? Absolutely! Their take on Ellington's "The Gal From Joe's" is insistent and nuanced. Can they get down and dirty? The dynamics of the Basie-esque "Buddy's Thang" make that a resounding "yes." What about the blues? They've got it covered. "Busy Body Blues" and "Big Band Blues" are steeped in the language and phraseology of the idiom's best practitioners. They do vocals too: "Back In New York City" is an excellent original, praising the city that never sleeps with a treatment that is both classic and contemporary - or, if you will, timeless. The music and playing on Swingadelic's latest disc "Another Monday Night," will want you hearing more of this swinging jazz with the kind of flair, melody, and dynamics to stir the heart and move the feet.
-Rice B. and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team SwingadelicWorking out of the New York City metropolitan area, Swingadelic is, roughly, a 10-piece dance little big band. Specializing in swing, the group aims to mix the sound of the traditional big band music of Ellington, Basie and Sinatra, with the soulfulness of music as exhibited by artists such as Ray Charles. Another Monday Night is their fourth CD release.
Leader and bassist Dave Post has assembled a disc that features the band in their best light. The arrangements feature for the most part a strong rhythmic propulsion essential for dancing. As with all of the best true dance bands the emphasis is on the beat, and Post has correctly limited the ensemble's arrangements to those that do not detract from its prevalence. In the process the band has a highly directed sound that fits well into the types of venues and audiences for which they perform.
With such being the intent of the ensemble, the importance of the bassist and drummer are brought to the fore. Post's solidly built lines and full timbral presence, when combined with drummer Paul Pizzuti's heavy backbeat oriented swing ride-time rhythms, gives the ensemble the thrust they need in order to achieve success. Together this tandem is as highly locked together in gear as the top NASCAR automobile engines; in both instances tremendous power is generated.
The horn section members perform their parts well, and obviously understand the importance of accents, like-minded articulation execution and cut-off releases that add to a piece's excitement rather than serve to demonstrate showiness.
Pianist, and vocalist on five of the disc's 12 tracks, John Bauers has a rollicking pianist style reminiscent of barrel-house piano. Bauers' vocal style is full-in-the-face like a large train racing out of control that is unbelievably brought safely into the station by the end of every song. If not using the disc to accompany dancing, it's his singing that easily captures one's attention the most and is truly one of the main highlights of this release.
Because the emphasis is on dancing the ensemble's soloists correctly stay away from playing lines that are too involved, realizing the intent is to accompany dancing and not the other way around. With the song material all being original compositions listing them here would mean nothing, but even with that detriment - dancers tend to like to dance to melodies they're familiar with - this is a great disc to pick up.
-Thomas Erdmann, Jazz Review, March 09I've long been of the opinion that Mondays are one of the better nights to find interesting music in the New York/New Jersey area, especially jazz. On Mondays, many Broadway houses are dark and most "weeklong' at the jazz clubs have ended on Sunday. This leaves a lot of the musicians who make a living in the pit orchestras of the big shows or who pick up work as sidemen when a headliner is short a musician or two, with a free night on their schedule. Many look forward to Mondays as a chance to play the music that is a little bit closer to their hearts. The major NYC jazz clubs invariably feature some type of Monday Night Special, that gives the musicians an outlet, while giving the public a chance to hear something or someone who is unknown, different , or both. Many of these Monday night aggregations have achieved renown on their own right, such as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and the legendary Les Paul's trio, now at Iridium. Iridium also plays host to the Mingus Big Band which, though it plays on Tuesdays, has a Monday night spirit. With so many musicians who make their living in NYC, living in New Jersey, it's no surprise that the Monday night tradition has begun to thrive on the other side of the Hudson. Drummer Cecil brooks leads a smoking big band at his own West Orange club, Cecil's and in Hoboken, at Maxwell's. an 11 piece "little big band" called Swingadelic, led by bassist Dave Post, plays on alternate Monday nights.
Swingadelic may have more in common with the fabled territory bands of the swing era then they do with their generally less traditional brethren, but they swing hard and have a devoted fan base. Like a few of the New York bands, Swingadelic also records, having just released their fourth disc Another Monday Night on the MediaMix label. The new album consists of a dozen selections, with all but one coming from the pen of one of the band's members; a departure from their previous discs that relied a bit more heavily on familiar jazz & blues classics. Another Monday Night is split into two parts; the first seven selections are instrumentals and the last five feature vocals, mostly by the group's keyboard player, John Bauers.
Swingadelic is made up of musicians who are relatively unknown, even to hardcore jazz buffs. the most familiar to contemporary audiences is Spyro Gyra guitarist Julio Fernandez, who sits in on one selection. Then there's saxophonist Buddy Terry who, in addition to some memorable guest spots on some fine '60?s dates by pianist Harold Mabern and organist Freddie Roach (A Few miles From Memphis and Soul Book, respectively), released three of his own albums in the early '70?s that have become sought-after collector's items. My personal favorite of these is 1973?s Lean On Him, an inventive synthesis of jazz, funk and soul with traditional Black Gospel music and lyrics that was unique until Kirk Whalum's Gospel According To Jazz discs a few years ago. Bernard Purdie's drum breaks on Lean On Him are still being sampled by today's hip-hoppers. Thankfully Mr. Terry is still with us and sounding as vital and soulful as he did 40 years ago. His tenor work on Neal Pawley's "And Suddenly You Were Gone", a tribute to the group's late organist Tommy T-Bone Stinson, is the highlight of the album. The sound of the composition and terry's beautiful, wistful tone are reminiscent of one of jazz's great memorial pieces, the original version of 'Blood Count" as performed by Johnny Hodges and the Ellington Orchestra on ...And His Mother Called Him Bill.
Another standout track is "Busy Body Blues" a funky, finger snapping tune, composed by trumpeter Carlos Francis, who also contributes a sly solo, as does Mr. Terry, this time on alto. but this track belongs to Mr. Pawley's growling trombone, which in just a few bars, manages to steal the show. In addition to his solo work, Terry also contributes a number called "Buddy's Thang", a throwback to his '70?s work, which features a tenor battle between Terry and Paul Carlon. The one non-original is a rare Ellington work, "The Gal from Joe's", which the band recorded for "Play It By Ear", a 2006 independent film. They acquit themselves well, capturing the intended feel of the Cotton club era Duke; kudos to Mr. Post for his evocative arrangement. The vocal tracks feature some very strong writing and arranging, better in many cases than the instrumental tracks; however the performances of the vocalists, while earnest, are in most cases not quite up to the level of the music. There are still some enjoyable performances, such as Bauer's "Dance With You" which swings infectiously and "Big Band Blues", Post's humorous take on some of the challenges faced in trying to keep an aggregation such as Swingadelic going.
Overall, Another Monday Night is a solid album, featuring catchy writing, tight ensemble passages and very good soloists. Whereas their previous discs depended greatly on the compositions of others this disc proves that the group can more than hold their own as writers. If they keep going like this, we'll soon see Swingadelic on many other nights of the week.