Bring 'Em Back!
I have been working on a big band musical for many years called “Bring ‘Em Back!”. The story revolves around three major principles:
1) Time Travel
2) The awareness of life
3) It’s about time big bands came back!
I have worked with many librettists over the years but I am still looking for the right story. It could be a revue instead of a full blown book musical.
The concept is essentially this:
A wise person once said: "There Ain’t Nothin’ Like a Big Band". It’s true, of course, "‘cause there ain’t"! Whatever your musical tastes, there really is no sound like the big band sound.
During the big band era swing was king. Big bands thrived (and jived), playing this spirited, dynamic form of pop music. The term “big band” became iconic. Although their mass popularity declined after the late 1940’s, big bands endured, adding numerous other musical styles to their sonic palette, including, and especially, jazz - with its endless stylistic possibilities.
You name it, big bands have played it.
Even though the sound of horns is ubiquitous in today’s pop music, big bands have yet to regain the stature they once had.
But they could.
Musically, what is a big band but a rhythm section (piano, bass, drums, guitar, percussion) and horns - but not just any horn section. Whether it’s swing, jazz, pop, rock, funk, hip hop ......when you add 5 saxophones, 4 trumpets and 4 trombones to a rhythm section, you’ve got a big band! If it looks, sounds, plays, and FEELS like a big band, it’s a big band!
What is needed to rekindle and revitalize the general public’s excitement over big bands is a hit song, either instrumental or vocal, that has a big band horn section, and CALL it a big band, no matter what style of music it is.
It really is about time to "Bring ‘Em Back!".
Playing bass with Buddy Rich was an experience I will never forget. Because the drummer and the bass player have to be so “tight” musically, it was a golden opportunity for me to learn.........and learn I did. I will always be grateful for that opportunity.
I would like to hear from other bass players who played with Buddy and what the experience was like for them. (It doesn’t have to be only bass players of course).
Having played bass with Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd as well, I would also like to communicate with any musicians that had the chance to work with this amazing human being and big band leader. He was truly a gem.