Nothing beats music, which is its own kind of prayer, for both instant and lasting spiritual relief. No extra calories, liver damage, or worries about The Law. One of the newest groups of roving spiritual practitioners is the Brooks Prumo Orchestra led by young Mister Prumo of Austin, Texas, dancer, rhythm guitarist, and man-with-more-than-one-plan. And we can now see and hear the results of his energetic devotion: a swing band that is serious about the music but has a large light heart. (Thanks to Kevin Hill for the fine videos.)
Here are the band members, many of them familiar as players in the Thrift Set Orchestra, the Sahara Swingtet, Swing Central, and groups led by Jonathan Doyle and Hal Smith. (Speaking about Hal, this gig was, I believe, his second or third after being sidelined for a time because of an auto accident. WELCOME BACK! WE MISSED YOU! The sound of Hal’s drumming — his percussive insight as well as the silvery float of his hi-hat — always makes me feel good, and I know I am not alone.)
Back to the BPO: Cale Montgomery, Marcus Graf, David Jellema, trumpet; Mark Gonzales, Leo Gauna, trombone; Jonathan Doyle, Lyon Graulty, tenor saxophone / clarinet; Zack Varner, alto saxophone / clarinet; Greg Wilson, alto / baritone saxophone; Dan Walton, piano; Ryan Gould, string bass; Hal Smith, drums; Brooks Prumo, guitar; Albanie Falletta, vocal. All these very pleasing videos are on YouTube (where else?) and you can subscribe to the Orchestra’s channel . I did.
ESQUIRE BOUNCE, arranged by Jonathan Doyle:
BENNY’S BUGLE, a mixture of Lee and Lester Young 1941-2, SWEETHEARTS ON PARADE, Charlie Christian, Cootie Williams, and Benny Goodman. (arrangement by David M. Jellema, his first for this band):
BOLERO AT THE SAVOY (echoes of Krupa and Basie), vocal by Albanie Falletta:
AVENUE C (by Buck Clayton for the 1942-3 Basie band):
PASS THE BOUNCE (arranged by Lauryn Gould), vocal by Albanie Falletta:
JON’S DREAM a/k/a DICKIE’S DREAM, arranged, properly, by Jonathan Doyle:
LAST JUMP, arranged by Zach Varner:
I know that it won’t be the LAST JUMP for this swinging band for some time: wishing them many gigs, appreciative audiences, public notice, and pleasures — like the ones they give us.
May your happiness increase!