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Album Review

Carney’s, Ralph Serious Jass Project – “Seriously” – [Smog Veil Records]

ArtCrimes   10/4/2011   CD, Jazz

Ralph Carney’s been associated with any number of acts in various styles but one area he understands well is the sound of saxophones from the classic jazz era of Duke Ellington and Count Basie. ??The Serious Jass Project builds a horn section from multiple overdubs of Carney on every manner of sax and clarinet, as well as flute and a few others, with the rest of the band covering piano, bass, and drums. ??Guests on guitar and vocals make some appearances here as well. ??In theory this should work as well as it does, but Carney makes sure that his horn parts aren’t just stacked up in unison … each instrument has a clear place in the mix and each part is distinctive. ??The result is a very live sounding band, with the horns driving pretty hard and the rhythm section keeping things solid. ??Pianist Michael McIntosh gets some solo time as well. ??Most tracks are drawn from the catalogs of acknowledged masters: the Duke, Juan Tizol, Coleman Hawkins, Rodgers & Hart among them. ??Aside from a few vocal chants here and there and proper vocals on a couple of songs, this is mostly instrumental. ??The last track is a band-written goof that leans more towards Carney’s wacky antics elsewhere in his catalog. — crimany

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