Ron Kerber, Michael Pedicin, Al Harrison, Robert Rawlins, Pete Colangelo, Denis DiBlasio, George Rabbai, Larry McKenna, Brian Betz and yours truly make up the friends who are featured beyond the regular band members. Most of these Atlantic City veterans also enjoy positions at local colleges and universities such as UofArts, Temple and Rowan University. Each stylist offers their own jazz perspective here on Friends Like These.
Not to be outdone by the guests, the EVJWBB regulars show their own impressive talents throughout this musical journey. The tenderness of octogenarian Stan Weiss’ baritone is well documented on Ellington’s Sophisticated Lady. Longtime tenor man John Guida shows a couple different sides while swinging on the opening Hat Out of Bell and then the funky title track With Friends Like These.
The Ed Vezinho – Jim Ward Big Band is comprised of many talented individuals who have played with every conceivable person in the business from Sinatra to Sinbad. Both Vezinho and Ward are generous with sharing solos and lead playing within the band. This recording displays only some of the abilities found within the band. Certainly every member of the band is worthy of recognition. It is well worth the money and time to discover, purchase and listen to With Friends Like These – time and time again.
Listen to SkipSpratt on Track 12 Maybe here: