Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck|
4 stars out of 4
I recognized the names, Henry Mancini and Charlie "Bird" Parker. I
figured that because this band was a jazz oriented unit that they
took those two well known names and put them together to come up with
a unique name for their group. Well, they are someone's names, just
not the ones I thought. They happen to be a combination of four Boston
area music veterans from the groups The Sky Blues, Bangalore, The
Roys and Four Piece Suit. And the names Billy Carl Mancini, who is
a vocalist and guitar player, and Ruby Bird, a vocalist and keyboard
player, are the musicians the group is named after. I must say, it's
an interesting and thought provoking coincidence.
I would have to consider this group to be progressive in every sense
of the word. They combine rudiments of jazz, blues, honky-tonk, rock,
world, and just about every sub genre that jazz has ever inspired.
What makes the music that much more appealing is how they switch back
and forth on tracks from Mancini to Bird for the lead vocal duties.
Bird is more attuned to the blues injected numbers, while Mancini
is more suited to the jazz and honky-tonk ambiance. They both have
equally strong and emotive vocal tones and play their instruments
with as much fervor and professionalism as humanly possible. You can't
create music like this without a technically resilient and proficient
backbone, and the fabulous rhythm section of Sven Larson (stand up
bass) and David Roy Kulik (drums) provide just that. The musical circle
is complete, and it is always evident while you are listening.
Was I totally impressed by this CD? Oh yes, completely and indisputably.
It's so refreshing to hear such a great variety on every single track,
and with such consistency and quality. With 13 tracks and nearly 60
minutes of music, that's a milestone in terms of recording by anyone's
measure. There wasn't a song I couldn't find enjoyment or value in.
That makes my job easy reviewing; I don't find it necessary to single
out certain tracks. The entire recording was so excellent it virtually
eliminated that factor, and it usually is an important aspect of a review.
This is music for those listeners that enjoy jazz as a foundation
with everything remaining open for structure and influences changing
quickly within each song. That for me defines the word progressive.
2. Looking For A Song-3:27
3. Til I Met Someone-3:23
4. Running To You-6:02
6. I Need More (Love)-4:52
7. Champagne & Crossroads-5:31
8. Jet Setting In Morocco-2:33
9. Into The Light-6:32
10. Sweet Little Thing-3:18
11. Time To Come Home-3:48
12. The Exception-4:38
13. Cops & Lawyers-6:12
Billy Carl Mancini -vocals, electric and acoustic guitars
Sven Larson-electric and stand-up bass, percussion
David Roy Kulik-vocals, drums
Ruby Bird-vocals, keyboards, harmonica, melodica, accordion