Gordon Goodwins Big Phat Band
The Phat Pack


4.0
excellent

Review

by doug USER (78 Reviews)
February 1st, 2010 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: jazz, swing, latin and funk all mixed into one spectacular CD.

Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band is really the suave of big band music at the moment. After the demise of big band in the early 1950’s there really hasn’t been much going for the genre in modern times. Thankfully we have the Big Phat Band. The third album from Gordon Goodwin’s brilliant group is aptly titled, The Phat Pack. A collection of classic rag time jazz and upbeat big band originals penned by Gordon Goodwin himself, The Phat Pack is an album showing us the genre of big band is far from dead.

Two vocal charts are really good representatives of how this jack-of-all-trades big band are making music for all to enjoy. With the Sinatra classic ‘It Was A Very Good Year’ and the old time favourite ‘Too Close For Comfort’ getting brand new arrangements from Goodwin. The sound is incredibly crisp and the vocal work from Dianne Reeves is beyond fantastic. The splendid thing about The Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band is that you really never know what you are going to get, as the music can veer from straight swing to Latin, shuffle, funk and then back again. A good example of this is the wild variety found in ‘Hunting Wabbits 2’ which is a salute to Elmer Fudd, the composer of the Warner Bros. music from the 40’s to 50’s. Also the title track ‘The Phat Pack’ really throws a punch. Very high trumpet work, to impossible baritone sax soloing, this chart is absolute mayhem in the best possible way. The tune swirls a travels through a hearty chorus section, the rhythm section hold quite a tight grouping, while the brass play an almost impossible bridge line that will have you gobsmacked in the way the pull out if it straight into the smooth solo section. To top off all this monumental sounding big band, the band have even done a cover of ‘Play That Funky Music’, with the arrangement taking the song up a step, and lovely call and response coming from the brass and saxophone sections through the intro, this was arranged basically so the saxophone section could show off, plus the chart is possibly made more funkier than ever before.

While all this funk, Latin and old time groove shop has been filling up the album, probably one of Goodwin’s greatest works to date is hiding amongst it all at the end of the album. ‘Ever Braver, Ever Stronger (An American Elegy)’, is an amazing piece of music. Goodwin has written the 18 piece band a chart of music that could be almost considered a neo-classical masterpiece. The brass section play some of the most touching melodies, while the saxophones lay heavy vibrato underneath giving it quite the July 4th feel. To be honest this music would not go astray in the ending credits of ‘Independence Day’, though that is what Goodwin is trying to capture. Not being an American, this shouldn’t change the view of this lovely piece of music, as it raises goose bumps with each listen.

Gordon Goodwin is really at the forefront of Big Band at the moment, as each album takes out numerous Grammy’s. It just goes to show that Big Band is not dead, and albums like The Phat Pack are definitely strengthening the jazz scene. There may never be another Miles Davis, but that doesn’t matter, because we have a Gordon Goodwin for times being.



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user ratings (2)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Douglas
February 1st 2010


9110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ugliest album cover every, yet it rules. If you like swing, I highly recommend.

Digging: The Preatures - Blue Planet Eyes

Piglet
February 1st 2010


4654 Comments


is that a tequila?

Douglas
February 1st 2010


9110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Looks like a martini haaha

Piglet
February 1st 2010


4654 Comments


[img]http://images.uulyrics.com/cover/g/gordon-goodwins-big-phat-band/album-the-phat-pack.jpg[/img]

Well there you go.

Douglas
February 1st 2010


9110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That would have to be the world's biggest chin.

Piglet
February 1st 2010


4654 Comments


and as you said, (one of?) the ugliest album cover ever.
Well what about the music? reading reviews for the majority of the time is too tedious for me (no offence meant it's just the general way i see reading)

Douglas
February 1st 2010


9110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rating: 4 = Excellent

Vooligan
February 1st 2010


3541 Comments


The bloke looks like Jeff Kennet.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 1st 2010


31215 Comments


He almost looks like a jazzy Sylvester Stallone

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

Meatplow
February 1st 2010


5524 Comments


That is one awesome album cover.

[img]http://i47.tinypic.com/mj0e92.jpg[/img]

Also, that's some jazz merchandise I can dig.

thebhoy
Emeritus
February 1st 2010


4461 Comments


cool, I might check this out, but it's behind Les Paul and Django Reinhardt

Douglas
February 1st 2010


9110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha yepo Meatplow.

Yeah, I reckon you would dig this.

Meatplow
February 1st 2010


5524 Comments


I do like Tom Baker's San Francisco Jazz Band, I imagine this would be similar.

Douglas
February 2nd 2010


9110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah man for sure, fairly similar.

DiceMan
February 2nd 2010


7068 Comments


Yeah this album is fantastic. Trumpet player from my jazz band let me borrow it a while ago. Didn't notice anyone had a review for it until now O.O

Douglas
February 3rd 2010


9110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hah well I only reviewed it a couple of days ago so you aint that far behind.



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