The debut Buddy Charles Concert Jazz Orchestra CD displays superb big band arrangements by Buddy Charles, Frank Mantooth, Jack Montrose, and Gordon Brisker. Featuring some of LA's greatest musicians including Wayne Bergeron, Carl Saunders, Charlie Loper, Andy Martin, Bill Watrous, Pete Christlieb, Jack Montrose, Pete Jolly, Chuck Berghoffer, and Ray Brinker.
TRUMPETS- George Graham, Rick Baptist (Wayne Bergeron subs), Frank Szabo, Warren Luening, Carl Saunders.
TROMBONES- Charlie Loper (Andy Martin subs), Bill Watrous, Bob McChesney, Ernie Tack.
REEDS- Charlie McLean, Gary Foster, Jack Montrose, Pete Christlieb, Gordon Brisker, Jack Nimitz.
PIANO- Pete Jolly
BASS- Chuck Berghofer
GUITAR- Mick Higgins
DRUMS- Ray Brinker
Just as one has begun to think that perhaps those rumors about big bands being dead and buried could be true, a new one comes thundering into the breach, baring such awesome power and finesse and swinging so incredibly hard that it literally grabs the listener by the shoulders, shakes him until he's limp, and hollers into his still-quivering ears, "We're Here!" But if you're reading these notes you already knew that, didn't you?
And there you have it -- better late than never, more than fifty-six minutes of scintillating big-band Jazz by the sharpest ensemble you'd never encountered -- until now. I'm sure you'll agree that music this pleasurable not only should be heard, it must be heard. We should be grateful that Buddy Charles never gave up on his band or his album, and even more so that he is busy planning another one. A suitable title? How about "No Stinkin' Detours This Time"? That's not too far-fetched once you've acknowledged that one of the best albums of 1993 has become a leading contender for best album of 2005. It took a dozen years, but the man who envisioned it and the band that recorded it can finally stand tall and shout in unison, "We're Here!"