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The Ed Palermo Big Band — I've Got News for You: The Music of Edgar Winter
(Bandcamp Sky Cat SC211001, 2021, CD / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-11-28
Me: Have you heard the Ed Palermo Big Band has a new album out? Her: No I hadn’t. what’s this one about? Me: It’s a tribute to the music of Edgar Winter! Her: Oh really! I can’t wait to hear his big band arrangement of “Frankenstein.” And that’s pretty much when I realize I’m going to be the bearer of bad news for this individual. In fact, that song, probably Edgar Winter’s best known hit from 1972, is not included here. That said, there is a treasure trove of early Edgar Winter gems featured among the sixteen tracks on I’ve Got News for You, including the entirety of Winter’s first solo album Entrance from 1970, minus one track. And an outstanding job Palermo does paying tribute to one of his earliest influences. In the past, Palermo has tended to shy away from vocal pieces, but that’s definitely not the case here, as he has enlisted a number of world class singers to accompany his sixteen piece big band, track depending, including Carlos Merguia, Kim Davis, Chrissi Poland, Keith Anthony Fluitt, Vaneese Thomas, Deb Lyons, and Rob Paparozzi. In addition, some name guests appear like guitarists Robben Ford and Jimmy Leahey, and violinist Katie Jacoby returns. The set begins with “I Hate Everybody,” a tune from Johnny Winter’s 1969 three-sided LP Second Winter on which Edgar played keyboards and sax extensively, the number always seemed to beg for a big-band arrangement, which Palermo has provided along with featured singer Carlos Murguia and guitarist Jimmy Leahey. The powerful blues standard “Tobacco Road” follows with Kim Davis singing and Robben Ford on guitar, folowed by several more numbers from the second side of Entrance with some great surprises interspersed (“All Out” and “Dyin’ to Live” from Jasmine Nightdreams and White Trash respectively) before coming to “Entrance,” the first of seven cuts covering the entire first side of Entrance, with a number of featured singers and soloists throughout. The album ends with the well known standard “You Are My Sunshine” followed by the title track, one of the highlights of the first White Trash album, featuring singers Vanesse Thomas and Rob Paparozzi, to conclude Palermo’s excellent tribute to the early years of Edgar Winter. After one spin, the listener will be thinking “Who needs Frankenstein anyway?”
Related artist(s): The Ed Palermo Big Band
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