(Translated from French) by Serge Baudot
Ira B. Liss is dedicated to bringing jazz to the big band. This disc is his fifth. He is based in San Diego where he formed his Jazz Machine in 1979, in a very swing era spirit. The arrangements are simple: sound blocks of the brass sections and reeds, in order to swing the whole and punctuate the solos, with a solid rhythm. It plays, it sounds, without much trouble, with a small side Claude Bolling Big Band.
For this Tasty Tunes many guests: Ladies first, vocalist Janet Hammer is on three tracks; she has a nice voice, she sings the words without any frills. On the touching "Nature Boy" that comes to calm down the game in mid-disc, it dispenses a great emotion in the first part on slow tempo, and holds well its place in the second part on fast tempo; to note, a perfect solo flute alto Holly Hoffmann with the final explosion of the big band. Other guests: Eric Marienthal on the saxophone, which is a great highlight, alone, on "Early Autumn", and Bob Mintzer on the tenor, very verve on "When the Lady Dances"; both are enjoying themselves in this environment; and again Dean Brown, very rock guitar. Note a rare thing: for each piece are named on the booklet the names of composers, arrangers and soloists. In addition, the recording is excellent.