Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Ed Palermo Big Band announces Concert Dates supporting their new double-the-fun album, 'Oh No! Not Jazz!!'

The Ed Palermo Big Band announces Concert Dates
supporting their new double-the-fun album,
Oh No! Not Jazz!!
- one of 2014's Most! Shockingly!! Great!!! jazz LARGE ensemble releases -

Listen to "Why Is the Doctor Barking?" (mp3 download)

On the Double-Album, Oh No! Not Jazz!!, Ed Palermo and His 18-Piece Big Band/Large Ensemble Dare to Pair Frank Zappa’s Compositions with the First Collection of Palermo Originals in over 25 Years

scroll down to read more about it 

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“…my bandmembers are the greatest and most “loyal to the cause” musicians I could ever hope for. …. This album is dedicated to my band. Thanks, folks!”
- Ed Palermo, liner notes to Oh No! Not Jazz!!

July 31, 2014 | Sellersville, PA
Sellersville Theater - 24 West Temple Ave - Sellersville, PA
PREVIEW/ARTICLE: "Frank Zappa disciple Palermo brings big band to Sellersville" by Fern Brodkin, The Mercury

August 2, 2014 | Marlboro, NY
The Falcon - 1348 Route 9W - Marlboro, NY (845) 236 7970

August 29, 2014 | New York, NY
Iridium - 1650 Broadway - New York, NY 10019 (212) 582-2121 (Ed & band perform Zodd Zundgren, a mash-up concert of Todd Rundgren's and Frank Zappa's music)

August 30, 2014 | New York, NY
Iridium - 1650 Broadway - New York, NY 10019 (212) 582-2121 (Ed & band perform Zodd Zundgren, a mash-up concert of Todd Rundgren's and Frank Zappa's music)

October 4, 2014 | Marlboro, NY
The Falcon - 1348 Route 9W - Marlboro, NY (845) 236 7970

December 20, 2014 | Marlboro, NY
The Falcon - 1348 Route 9W - Marlboro, NY (845) 236 7970

Don't miss YOUR chance to see The Ed Palermo Big Band LIVE!!

“It’s gonna be a blast” - Ed Palermo.

"Palermo and his assembly of 18 wayward sons and daughters prove they’ve mastered all the quirky complexities of the master’s music. ... Outside the mad world of mutant Gypsy industrial vacuum cleaners and penguins in bondage, Palermo presents...original compositions. All eight, plus non-original swing-fest “Moosh,” are triumphs of serious-minded orchestral jazz... [4 STARS]" 
 - Frank-John Hadley, DownBeat, May 2014

“Like Zappa, and Duke Ellington before, Palermo’s main instrument is his band. And with him at the helm is manages to capture perfectly the spirit of Zappa’s music while stamping its own authority on the adventurous arrangements with its exuberant, joyous ensemble playing and in the quality of the solos. Ed Palermo, with impeccable olfactory taste, has done both big band jazz and Zappa’s music a huge service. If you didn’t like big band jazz before, then the riotous, swinging celebration…may well be the record that converts you. If you didn’t get Frank Zappa’s music, then this record may make you consider his vast musical legacy in a whole new light.” - Ian Patterson, All About Jazz

“Zappa once famously said “Jazz isn’t dead, it just smells funny.” Ed Palermo is making one hell of a wonderful stink.”
- Daniel Spicer, Pop Matters

"Seriously recommended." - Michael Verity, Jazz

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On the Double-Album, Oh No! Not Jazz!!, Ed Palermo and His 18-Piece Big Band/Large Ensemble Dare to Pair Frank Zappa’s Compositions with the First Collection of Palermo Originals in over 25 Years
Release Date: 2/4/2014 - Genre: Jazz / Big Band - Format: 2xCD / Digital Download

Long revered and celebrated for his insistently inventive jazz arrangements of Frank Zappa compositions, New Jersey saxophonist/composer/arranger Ed Palermo returns with his fourth album featuring his big band playing his jaw-dropping, brain-busting, and wildly antic charts.  Oh No! Not Jazz!! is the Ed Palermo Big Band’s third project for Cuneiform, but this time Palermo is offering his own jazz vision along side Zappa’s music. It’s a fascinating juxtaposition, with Palermo’s talent-laden 18-piece orchestra digging into his originals, which stand up effectively next to his arrangements of Zappa’s ingenious songbook.

With titles like “Let’s Reproduce,” “Nostalgia Revisited,” and “Prelude To An Insult,” Palermo’s compositions seem to be muscling in on Zappa’s wry, absurdist sensibility. But it’s more that Zappa shaped his sense of humor (i.e. bent his young mind) than his compositional vision, as Palermo’s charts swing fiercely and owe far more to Thad Jones and Mel Lewis than the Mothers of Invention.

“There is a lot of humor, and I probably got a lot of that from Zappa,” Palermo notes, while also claiming his deep jazz roots. “When you hear me play saxophone my heroes are Phil Woods and Cannonball Adderley.”

Palermo’s big band has been dedicated to Zappa’s music for more than two decades, and no ensemble has done more to focus attention on Zappa’s tremendous body of work as a composer. Stocked with top-shelf New York players, the orchestra features incisive improvisers such as trombonist Joe Fielder, violinist Katie Jacoby, baritone saxophonist Barbara Cifelli, and the supremely versatile drummer Ray Marchica. Palermo’s latest contribution to Zappaology opens with the epic “Inca Roads,” featuring Bruce McDaniel’s searing guitar work and special guest Napoleon Murphy Brock on callisthenic vocals. Navigating the quickly shifting time signatures with its usual aplomb, the band sounds as sharp as ever.

Palermo gleaned “The Uncle Meat Variations” and “The Dog Breath Variations” from The Mothers of Invention’s 1969 experimental masterwork Uncle Meat, gracefully rendering the cinematic breadth, vivid tonal palette, and unapologetic beauty of Zappa’s vision. He’s equally masterly when it comes to capturing Zappa’s sheer swaggering joie de vivre, as on the rampaging arrangement of “Lumpy Gravy,” which fades up in the midst of the action just as trumpeter Ronnie Buttacavoli launches into a growling, smearing, plunger mute solo. The first disc closes, appropriately enough, with “America Drinks And Goes Home,” a tune that features the impressive vocals and hilarious commentary by Mike James, who sounds uncannily like Frank Sinatra crossed with Mark Murphy.

James briefly reappears on the opening track of the second disc to advise listeners “Hold on to your skirt there, sweetheart, this ought to be one swinging affair.” However you’re attired, he speaks the truth, as Palermo’s original compositions and arrangements swing with authority. The opener, “Moosh,” moves through several distinct phases, culminating in an insouciant alto solo by Palermo and a sizzling violin statement by Katie Jacoby. Despite its pugnacious title, “Prelude to An Insult” sounds more jaunty than peeved, with the dark rumbling tone of Barbara Cifelli’s bari saxophone providing a lovely contrast to Palermo’s liquid alto.

John Palermo’s elegant, folky mandolin sounds decidedly unthreatening on the brief “Prelude to a Catastrophe,” which ushers in the jittery, anxiously swelling “A Catastrophe (Is Just Around the Corner),” and Ben Kono’s superbly inquisitive tenor solo. Palermo is at his most inventive on “Let’s Reproduce,” a wily tune that oozes suggestively rather than bumping and grinding. He shows off his sensitive side with the lithe melody “Nostalgia Revisited,” a lovely piece that avoids sentimentality. The longest Palermo original, “The Insult,” feels like a forgotten page from the Mingus songbook, with all the roiling emotion, lush romanticism and surfeit of musical ideas one would expect.

While Zappa doesn’t cast much of a shadow over Palermo’s writing, his influence is unmistakable on the antic “Why Is the Doctor Barking?” a tune that begs for a Warner Bros. cartoon, and that features some space age keyboard work by Ted Kooshian. The album closes with an extended goodbye “Good Night, Everybody! God Loves Ya!,” starting with another hilarious turn by the put-upon vocalist Mike James, who tries to get a word in edgewise amidst the horn solos. A brief Ellingtonian take on the Beatles“She’s So Heavy” closes out the session (or does it?).

[Photo of Ed Palermo by Bert Saraco.]

Palermo’s passion for Frank Zappa music predates his interest in jazz. Indeed, he credits Zappa with opening his mind up to the harmonic vistas of John Coltrane. Born in Ocean City, New Jersey on June 14, 1954, Palermo grew up in the cultural orbit of Philadelphia, which was about an hour drive away. He started playing clarinet in elementary school, and soon turned to the alto saxophone. He also took up the guitar, and followed his growing interest in Zappa straight to modern jazz.

“I was particularly interested in Zappa on a compositional level,” Palermo says. “‘King Kong’ was one of my favorite songs from the 9th grade on and that helped me get into John Coltrane's modal period.”

Not exactly obsessed with practicing, he caught the jazz bug while attending DePaul University, and took to the alto sax with renewed diligence inspired by Edgar Winter, Woods and Adderley. Before he graduated he was leading his own band and making a good living as a studio player recording commercial jingles. But like so many jazz musicians he answered New York’s siren call, moving to Manhattan in 1977. After a year of playing jam sessions and scuffling Palermo landed a coveted gig with Tito Puente, a four-year stint that immersed him in Afro-Cuban music.

An encounter with trumpeter Woody Shaw’s septet at the Village Vanguard in the late 1970s stoked his interest in writing and arranging for multiple horns, and by the end of the decade he had launched a nine-piece rehearsal band with five horns. Between Don Sebesky’s well-regarded book The Contemporary Arranger and advice from Dave Lalama and Tim Ouimette. “I got a lot of my questions answered,” Palermo says, and I’ll love them forever. Then the real education was trial and error. I lived in a little apartment with no TV or furniture. All I had was a card table, and once a week I’d rehearse my nonet, then listen to the cassette of the rehearsal and make all the changes.”

Palermo made his recording debut in 1982, an impressive session featuring heavyweights such as David Sanborn, Edgar Winter and Randy Brecker. As a consummate studio cat and sideman, he toured and recorded with an array of stars, including Aretha Franklin, Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Mel Tormé, Lou Rawls, Melba Moore, The Spinners and many others. As an arranger, he’s written charts for the Tonight Show Band, Maurice Hines, Eddy Fischer, Melissa Walker, and a concert by James Brown at the Hollywood Bowl.

Palermo had been leading his big band for more than a decade before the Zappa concept started coming together. Inspired by electric guitar master Mike Keneally, who performed with Zappa on some of his final concerts before Zappa’s death in 1993, Palermo decided to arrange a program of 12 Zappa tunes. When the time came to debut the material at one of the band’s regular gigs at the Bitter End in early 1994, a sold-out crowd greeted the band.

“The Internet was just becoming powerful, and word really got around,” Palermo says. “We were used to paying small audiences, and the place was packed. There were people who had driven down from Canada, and up from West Virginia who didn’t have a clue who I was, but they wanted to hear Zappa’s music. It was an amazing night.”

The Ed Palermo Big Band earned international attention with its 1997 debut The Ed Palermo Big Band Plays Frank Zappa on Astor Place Records. With Palermo’s brilliant arrangements and soloists such as Bob Mintzer, Chris Potter, 
Dave Samuels,
 Mike Stern, and Mike Keneally, the album made an undisputable case for Zappa jazz concept.

He followed up in 2006 with Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance, the band’s Cuneiform debut. Once again, the band received enviable reviews, with declaring the album “Wonderful, breathtaking, fantastic, exhilarating, great sound, great production, great musicianship...I run out of superlatives.”

With 2009’s Eddy Love Frank, the project continued to bear luscious fruit. Exploring Palermo’s ever evolving and expanding book of Zappa compositions, the band continues to play with verve and consummate musicianship, a testament to the music’s stimulating allure. As Jazz Times noted, “Palermo’s arrangements and these performances are precise, dedicated, raucous and incisive—just like Zappa himself.”

At this point, the Palermo Big Band has honed some 300 Zappa arrangements, including six separate and distinct charts for “King Kong.” With a steady cast of dedicated players, many of whom have been in the band for more than a decade, Palermo has created a singular institution that seems to effortlessly bridge the worlds of jazz, art rock and classical music. As Oh No! Not Jazz!! makes perfectly clear, there’s no danger that the deep well of Zappa’s music is going to run out of creative juice any time soon.

If you'd like to share music from this release with your friends/readers/listeners, please feel free to use the following track:
"Why Is the Doctor Barking?"
(mp3 download) - STREAM: @SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

AMAZON - BANDCAMP - WAYSIDE MUSIC - ITUNES (Disc 2 of Palermo album only)

Ed Palermo Big band @ - -

PHOTOS of The Ed Palermo Big Band by photographer Bert Saraco
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The Ed Palermo Big Band
Eddy Loves Frank

The Ed Palermo Big Band
Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance

Track listing:
1. Night School (6:03)
2. Echidna's Arf (Of You) (9:49)
3. Regyptian Strut (6:56)
4. Don't You Ever Wash That Thing? (6:20)
5. Dupree's Paradise (5:43)
6. What's New in Baltimore (6:04)
7. Let's Move to Cleveland (6:30)
8. America the Beautiful (5:28)

Track listing:
1. RDNZL (8:52)
2. Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance (6:23)
3. Dwarf Nebula Processional March & Dwarf Nebula (6:07)
4. Pound For A Brown On The Bus (6:02)
5. Sleep Dirt (5:34)
6. Gumbo Variations (5:55)
7. Mom And Dad/Oh No (9:10)
8. Moggio (5:34)

1 comment:

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