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The Great Un-American Songbook: Volumes 1 and 2

The Great Un-American Songbook: Volumes 1 and 2 by The Ed Palermo Big Band
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The Ed Palermo Big Band

Label: Cuneiform Records
Released: 2017
Views: 248

Track Listing

1. Good Morning, Good Morning (The Beatles) 02:53

2. Open Up Said the World at the Door (The Move) 05:10

3. We Love You (The Rolling Stones) 04:25

4. Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles) 04:45

5. Definitely Maybe (Jeff Beck) 05:38

6. As You Said (Cream) 04:29

7. Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part Two (King Crimson) 07:07

8. 21st Century Schizoid Man (King Crimson) 06:29

9. Send Your Son to Die (Blodwyn Pig) 04:32

10. Edward, The Mad Shirt Grinder (Nicky Hopkins w/ Quicksilver Messenger Service) 13:21

11. America/American Idiot (The Nice, Green Day) 02:55

12. Beggar's Farm (Jethro Tull) 06:47

13. Bitches Crystal (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) 05:25

14. Wreck of the Hesperus (Procol Harum) 04:01

15. Diamond Dust (Jeff Beck) 05:27

16. The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (Traffic) 05:29

17. Fire (Arthur Brown) 03:36

18. The Tourist (Radiohead) 04:54

19. Don't Bother Me (The Beatles) / Nardis (Miles Davis) / Don't Bother Me (reprise) 07:11

20. I Wanna Be Your Man (The Beatles) 03:22

21. Good Night (The Beatles) 05:41


The Ed Palermo Big Band

Additional Personnel / Information


Barbara Cifelli - baritone sax, Eb mutant clarinet

Matt Ingman - bass trombone

Charley Gordon - lead trombone

Ronnie Buttacavoli - lead trumpet

Katie Jacoby - electric violin

John Bailey - trumpet

Clifford Lyons - lead alto sax, clarinet

Phil Chester - 2nd alto sax, flute, piccolo, soprano sax

Bill Straub - lead tenor sax, flute, clarinet

Ben Kono - 2nd tenor sax, flute, oboe

Michael Boschen - trombone

Ray Marchica - drums

Paul Adamy - electric bass

Bob Quaranta - acoustic piano

Ted Kooshian - electric keyboards

Bruce McDaniel - guitar, vocals

Producer: Bruce McDaniel

Recorded at Peaceful Waters Studio, April 18–October 10, 2016.

Wayne Warnecke: Engineer

Mixing and mastering by Bruce McDaniel at Rock Ridge Recording, New Orleans, LA.

Additional recording by Ralph Kessler at Pinguin, Hamburg, Germany.

Artwork: Hugh Brennan

Photos: Hugh Brennan* *except for Mike Boschen's by Mark Kornbluth, and Bruce McDaniel's by Jasmine Taylor Shadab, also credit to David Ortega (photo asst. on Ed's shoot)

Album Description

Crazy times call for outrageous music, and few jazz ensembles are better prepared to meet the surreality of this reality-TV-era than the antic and epically creative Ed Palermo Big Band. The New Jersey saxophonist, composer and arranger is best known for his celebrated performances interpreting the ingenious compositions of Frank Zappa, an extensive body of work documented on previous Cuneiform albums.

But his fifth project for the label, ‘The Great Un-American Songbook Volumes 1 & 2’, is a love letter to the rockers who ruled the AM and FM airwaves in the 1960s via successive waves of the British Invasion. Featuring largely the same stellar cast of players as last year’s gloriously eclectic One Child Left Behind, the 18-piece EPBB lovingly reinvents songs famous and obscure, leaving them readily recognizable and utterly transformed. The first installments in what he hopes to be an ongoing project, these two volumes give a whole new meaning to 'swinging London'.

More than any other EPBB release, The Great Un-American Songbook is like rummaging around Palermo’s record collection and playing tracks at random after imbibing an espresso-laced bottle of absinth. He’s the first to admit that the album is a highly personal and nostalgia-induced undertaking. “Almost everything I do lately is reliving my past,” Palermo says. “With the craft and skill I’ve developed being an arranger for all these years, I can now take those songs that I grew up with and loved, and reinterpret them. I picked my favorite songs, songs that I’m going to want to hear and play a lot. There’s really no other way to explain my selection process.

By the end of the long and winding road through Palermo’s musical backpages there’s no doubt that his nostalgia is our delight, as vintage rock songs make for state-of-the-art jazz. “Anything can be grist for the mill,” Palermo says. “Once I start an arrangement I get so into it. I’m going to put my spin on it.”

Nothing demonstrates the ensemble’s ongoing vitality better than the stellar cast of players, with many longtime collaborators. Many of these top-shelf musicians have been in the band for more than a decade, and they bring wide ranging experience, expert musicianship and emotional intensity to Palermo’s music. From the first note, well, after the goat, the band manifests greatness in a truly Un-American cause.

From the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Jeff Beck to King Crimson, Traffic, and Jethro Tull, The EPBB storms the British invasion and plants the American flag (upside down)!


Album uploaded by Joyce (Nalewajk) Feigenbaum


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