October’s CD of the Month selection reflects the Autumn season as like the multi-colored leaves and unpredictable weather, Phil Norman Tentet’s Then & Now has many layers to its content. Saxophonist, clarinetist, band leader, producer Phil Norman moonlights as a financial advisor for several Los Angeles based radio stations. His success in that field has enabled him to follow his passion to establish a band to honor the west coast cool sounds he was raised on but with many twists and turns, imaginative, fresh arrangements performed by some of the finest musicians of southern California. For his 7th recording, Phil chose 12 chestnuts from the jazz cannon and with a little help from his friends came up with a captivating musical journey that is as pleasant as a drive through the New England countryside in the Fall.
Then & Now: Classic Sounds & Variations of 12 Jazz Legends by Phil Norman Tentet has wonderful liner notes sharing interesting information about the song’s composers and their compositions. Moreover, there is a fine summary on each of the 10 musicians on this project for Summit Records which makes for good reading while listening to the CD. Two of the 12 tunes are Latin jazz, Soul Sauce aka Guachi Guaro and Manteca, both Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie landmark songs. Some of the other entries are Sir George Shearing’s Lullaby of Birdland, Benny Golson’s Killer Joe, Miles Davis’ So What, Vince Guaraldi’s Linus and Lucy and 6 other highly recognizable classics. As cited in the 19-page booklet by co-producer Luci Janssen; “a musical reprise of twelve classic jazz favorites that morph into new and sassy arrangements—enjoy the new vibe!”