After Midnight | Opus 1/2

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Opus 1/2

by After Midnight

The Benny Goodman sextet rides again. This is hot swingin' jazz with a touch of modern spice.
Genre: Jazz: Swing/Big Band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Air Mail Special
4:12 $0.99
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2. Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
2:39 $0.99
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3. A Smooth One
4:48 $0.99
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4. Seven Come Eleven
3:14 $0.99
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5. Stealin' Apples
5:31 $0.99
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6. God Bless the Child
8:06 $0.99
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7. Jolly Roger
4:02 $0.99
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8. Opus 1/2
3:35 $0.99
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9. Twenty-Two Cent Shuffle
3:44 $0.99
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10. Campbell Zoop
3:31 $0.99
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11. Rachel's Dream
3:14 $0.99
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12. Six Appeal
3:10 $0.99
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13. Flying Home
4:08 $0.99
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14. Dream a Little Dream of Me
4:03 $0.99
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15. Slipped Disc
3:32 $0.99
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16. Lullaby of Birdland
3:13 $0.99
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17. Memories of You
5:16 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Any time of day or night, After Midnight is your source for the best in Swing, Jazz, Latin, and Blues. This is Denver's hottest swingtet modeled after Benny Goodman's popular small band sounds of the 1930s and 40s. These professional musicians have performed around the world for everything from small clubs to stage shows. With a simple instrumentation of Clarinet, Vibraphone, Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Drums, and Piano, this small group is uniquely exciting. Whether you like danceable music from the Great Swing Era or contemporary jazz standards, you will love their music!

This CD, Opus 1/2, "swings like mad!" according to Denver's own KUVO 89.3 jazz radio station! It includes a fantastic blend of Goodman standards, fabulous vocals, and several original tunes. Special guest clarinetist Bill Pontarelli is featured in a clarinet duet with Roger Campbell on Peanuts Hucko's famous "Stealin' Apples". The CD also features special guest Rick Weingerten on Vibraphone. It also highlights the amazing vocal talents of Rekha Ohal on a number of tunes including Billy Holiday's "God Bless the Child". Rekha's vocal talents have been compared to Diana Krall and Nora Jones. Over 70 minutes in length, this CD is a must have for any jazz and swing lover!

Here is a review from the August, 2007 American Rag by Cam Miller:
Grade: A

"After Midnight, which made its Sacramento Jazz Jubilee debut this year a rousing one, has its roots buried deep in the Benny Goodman Sextet tradition. Same instrumentation - clarinet, vibraphone, piano, guitar, bass and drums - and arrangements that echo those of the BG six.

So, as you might expect Opus 1/2 is Benny every step of the way though a second After Midnight album, Beginning to See the Light, is a mix of Goodman and music from other sources.

Playing Goodman-based charts can be fraught with peril unless you have skilled musicians in every chair. After Midnight does. Leader/clarinetist Roger Campbell and vibraphonist Greg Harris carry most of the load and carry it well. Campbell, who bubbles with fresh ideas, appears to have been influenced by Buddy De Franco while Harris is a no-holds vibist ala Terry Gibbs.

(Harris is replaced by Rick Weingarten on "Six Appeal," "A Smooth One" and "Seven Come Eleven" though their styles are so similar, the switch could easily go unnoticed.)

Exuberant pianist Bill Stephens who doubles on keyboard bass, guitarist Mike McCullough, bassist Ced Forsyth and drummer Jim Moore provide a solid foundation as well as making solid contributions in solo situations.

Songstress Rekha Ohal is aboard, too, and turns in a fine performance on "God Bless The Child," and offers satisfactory readings of "Dream a Little Dream Of Me," "Bei Mir Bist Du Schon," and the clever "Campbell Zoop."

However, unlike some bands that require a female (or male) vocalist to help them carry the load, After Midnight does not, with all due respects to Ohal.

Other instrumental entries include such Goodman worthies as "Rachel's Dream" ("Three Little Words" played backwards), "Airmail Special" and a particularly appealing "Memories of You" as well as originals "Jolly Roger" and "Twenty-Two Cent Shuffle."

Highlight of the album comes, however, when a second clarinetist, Bill Pontarelli, hooks up with Campbell for a royal romp through "Stealin' Apples." With Stephens to set the torrid pace, the action only gets hotter as the two reedmen engage in repeated chase choruses before ending in unison.

In sum, good enough to keep."

For more information on the band or the CD, please visit our web site at www.AfterMidnightJazzBand.com.

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Reviews


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Yasuo Takanashi

Not only after midnight, but good music for all day!
Very good example of happy swing music, makes me comfort, feel warm and relaxed. On a week day, I like to listen to this CD before I go to bed. On Sunday morning it gives me a good start, and makes me relaxed at dusk.
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D. J. Carleton

Swing Music Swung Right!
"Opus 1/2" CD by the After Midnight Jazz Band

Although not billed as a Benny Goodman tribute, this set is dripping with Goodman influence. This, the After Midnight Jazz Band's first CD, includes only three originals ("Jolly Roger", "Twenty-Two Cent Shuffle", "Campbell Zoop"), with eleven BG classics,rounded out by three other tunes Benny undoubtedly played at some time. All feature clarinetist (and leader) Roger Campbell, assisted on "Stealin' Apples" by guest clarinetist Bill Pontarelli. Rekha Ohal's vocals on "Bei Mir Bist Du Schon", "God Bless the Child", "Dream a Little Dream" and "Lullabye of Birdland" are unique and worthy of note.The septet plays well together, the ensemble tight but fluid, especially on high energy tracks such as "Seven Come Eleven", "Air Mail Special", "Flying Home", "Slipped Disc", "Rachael's Dream", "Opus 1/2". "Flying Home" benefits from a backbest not usually associated with this tune. Mike McCullough gets some nice solo space for his guitar after the vocal on "God Bless the Child", adding to a more bluesy treatment than usual.
"Jolly Roger", a clarinet/bass/guitar trio feature, taken at a medium tempo allows Roger Campbell, Mike McCullough and Ed Forsyth to shine throughout. "Twenty-Two Cent Shuffle",very much in th eBG Sextet vein, is a nice fit with the set, allowing the vibraphone of Greg Haines and pianist Bill Stephens, ample room to solo. "Campbell Zoop", the other original in the set, gets a funkier groove, again allowing McCullough and Stephens room to rock. Any thought that the clarinet can't get funky should be shattered by Roger Campbell's solo here.
Rick Weingarten, guest vibraphonist, sits in on "A Smooth One", "Seven Come Eleven" and "Six Appeal", adding color to the group's pallette.
The set closes with a lovely piano/clarinet duet reading of "Memories of You", played fairly straight, but nonetheless a fitting closer for the CD. This disc is highly recommented for anyone who loves clarinet, Benny Goodman's music, or just plain swing music swung right!
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Doug Minnis


This is a fine group and thia CD is a good example. I first heard them at the Sacramento Jazz Festival. Both the clarinet and the piano are outstanding. One of the best jazz clarinets I have heard. The Vibes are also good. The vocal is good as is the guitar, but they are not in the class with the rest of the band. I look forward to getting more of their CDs
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