Ten original songs mostly in the Rat-Pack style and two classic tunes make up this big band album.
Featuring vocalists; Al Romero, Garry Moore, Marcella Kalua, Alwyn Erub, Michael Chock and Dave Yamasaki. Trumpets- Don Smith, Deshannon Higa, Bob Scellato and Kevin Leong Trombones- Pat Hennessey, Kyle Hanki and Dick Bowman Flute, Clarinet, Alto, Tenor and Bari saxes- Aaron Aranita Guitar-David Yamasaki Bass- Ernie Provencher and Miles Jackson Drums- Chuck James, Jerome james and James Ganeko Piano, Vibes- Aaron Aranita
- You Look So Good
2. The Idea Of Love
3. The Littlest Things
4. I’m A Caffeine Man
5. Let’s Get Juiced
6. Love Prescription
7. We Both Belong Together
8. Weedwack Attack
9. Home Movies
10. Just Use Me
11. A String Of Pearls
12. In The Mood
Aaron Aranita is a multi-talented jazz musician who is based in Hawaii. He not only plays tenor, alto, baritone, flute, clarinet and piano but is a fine arranger-composer-lyricist.
On the self-titled debut of the Aaron Aranita Big Band, he arranged and composed ten of the dozen songs. Each of those ten numbers features a swinging orchestra that is a little reminiscent of Count Basie’s in style along with a vocalist. While he utilizes four trumpeters, four trombonists, rhythm guitar, bass and drums, Aranita (through overdubbing) plays all of the reeds and piano. Due to the fine recording quality and balance, one does not notice that the music was not completely recorded at the same time.
Of the six vocalists, Al Romero and Garry Moore are the most impressive. Romero is a personable singer inspired by Tony Bennett. He is in the spotlight throughout “You Look So Good” and “The Idea Of Love”; the latter is particularly memorable. Moore is featured on four songs. Of these, “I’m A Caffeine Man” extols the joys of both coffee and a caffeinated female, “Let’s Get Juiced” is about juice rather than liquor, and “The Littlest Things” is a real swinger. “Love Prescription,” which has a doctor prescribing love for a patient, could become a standard in the future.
The other selections include a humorous and rock & rollish “Weedwack Attack” (featuring the singing of Alwyn Erub), the love song ‘We Both Belong Together” (with some nice vocalizing by Marcella Kalua) and a plea for love on “Just Use Me” (with David Yamasaki).
The final two performances are reworkings of the Glenn Miller hits “A String Of Pearls” and “In The Mood.” The leader’s saxophone playing (on two tenors and alto) during those performances is quite impressive.
The Aaron Aranita Big Band’s CD is fun and easily recommended to fans of middle-of-the-road singers and swinging big bands.
– Scott Yanow
Artist website http://www.aaronaranitabigband.com