Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Brass Fever - Summertime (1976)

Brass Fever

Written by: George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin & DuBose Heyward
Produced by: Esmond Edwards
Album: Time Is Running Out (Impulse!, 1976)

It's summer, so why not?  Brass Fever was an obscure, large jazz/funk studio group made up of some of the top session musicians of the time: 

The group cut two albums of mostly covers, then called it quits.  This cut is from the band's second and final album.  That album didn't crack the Billboard 200 album chart, but it did peak at #98 on the R&B album chart.

From the opening Clavinet playing along with the cuĂ­ca drum, everything about this joint screams 1970's.  Then the horns come in sounding like something from "Theme from S.W.A.T." and the cheesy fun really gets going.  In the late '70s, many studio disco groups would cut dance versions of classical music, show tunes, or standards and I'm guessing that was the thought process behind this cut.  During the 6:35 of this piece, we're treated to solos from saxophone and trombone as well as a percussion breakdown section.  It's good, not great, but at the very least it's intriguing.

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