Title - 'Swing!'
Artist - Pat Travers
For those not in the know, Pat Travers is a Canadian rock guitarist, keyboardist and singer who began his recording career with Polydor Records in the mid-1970s.
Indeed, musicians such as Pat Thrall, Nicko McBrain, Clive Edwards, Mick Dyche, Tommy Aldridge, Peter "Mars" Cowling, Barry Dunaway, Jerry Riggs, Gunter Nezhoda, Carmine Appice, are just some of the noted musicians who have been members of the Pat Travers Band through the years.
After 40-plus years of slinging his six-string all over the world, you'd think Pat Travers would be slowing down, settling into his well-worn blues rock groove that has earned him great critical acclaim as well as a massive worldwide fanbase.
Instead Travers appears to be ramping up and looking for new horizons to conquer. On the heels of his superb 2015 album Retro Rocket, the legendary guitarist gets swinging on a set of big band classics from the ’40s and ’50s on his brand new, and highly unique new album, simply entitled Swing! (out July 26th, 2019 via Purple Pyramid / Cleopatra Records).
1. 'Sing Sing Sing'
2. 'Opus One'
3. 'Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby'
4. 'In The Mood'
5. 'Take The ‘A’ Train'
6. 'Let The Good Times Roll'
7. 'Apple Honey'
Featuring full band rock arrangements, this quite vibrant, and remarkably fresh-sounding new collection kicks off in fine style with Louis Prima’s 'Sing Sing Sing' and backs that up flawlessly with Tommy Dorsey's pop and hop of 'Opus One' and then Louis Jordan's timeless bop 'Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby.'
Next up, and making it his guitar-roaring own, is Glenn Miller's irrepressible 'In The Mood' which is followed by Duke Ellington’s 'Take The ‘A’ Train,' and then another from Jordan in the form of 'Let the Good Times Roll.'
The frenetically paced 'Apple Honey' (by Django Reinhardt & His American Swing Big Band) tends to lean more heavily on Travers' virtuoso guitar work than the underlying swing, with the album rounding out with a searing guitar remake of the 1947 Sarah Vaughan classic 'Tenderly.'
Travers explains the genesis and creation of the album by saying, "A little while ago, I had the '40s channel on satellite radio playing and I started thinking that it would be fun to get into that Big Band Swing era music."
"I thought that I could find a place for my guitar style in there and I asked the people at Cleopatra Records if they thought so too. They did and with Cleopatra's endorsement, I started to research the music and the bands and players from that time period."
"The first thing I discovered was that these Big Bands were a lot like the rock bands that came along in later years. They had a lot of power, like sixteen horn players, and the bass players and drummers were powerhouses."
"The soloists, guys like Ray Anthony on trumpet, had a ton of flare and chops and I found them very inspiring."
"I was fortunate to have my friend and great keyboardist Michael Franklin help me with the horn arrangements and getting the players for the recording sessions."
"Working with a baritone sax, trombone, alto sax, and trumpet was one of the best studio experiences I've ever had. These guys can play!"
"Plus having Michael Franklin's brother Tim Franklin playing the upright bass just made everything legit."
"I also wanted to have my trio of Tommy Craig on drums and David Pastorius on bass try out some of the classic '40s tunes in a more rocked out minimal style."
"I think that we have been very successful in adapting the Big Band sound to a more contemporary blues/rock thing. Classic Big Band hits like 'Sing Sing Sing' and 'In The Mood' were a ton of fun to record."
"All in all, I think what we've done here is make that great old 1940s-era Big Band music sound accessible to contemporary audiences and it certainly does swing!"
Swing! is now available on both CD (in a special digipak package) and vinyl (in your choice of blue or red) as well as digital.
Official CD Purchase Link
Official Vinyl LP Purchase Link