January 9, 2022

The Ed Palermo Big Band is so much more than a swinging rock and roll band being more of a life affirming experience, quite simply, if you do not appreciate him, his band and his music then you are most probably dead! The band is a really crazy show band operational since the late ’70s and based out of New York with many, many albums in their back catalogue and has built up a solid reputation as a band that delivers swing and jazz versions of songs by some of the greatest names in the business and they have covered, amongst many others, the likes of Franz Zappa, Miles Davis, The Beatles, King Crimson and when you also include Blodwyn Pig you realise that this is not your average or run of the mill swing band!

Photo: Chris Drukker

Velvet Thunder reviewed his Great Un-American Songbook 3 last year which featured music by The Hollies, Beatles, Thunderclap Newman, Procol Harum and the Moody Blues and what a revelation it was to hear up-tempo swing and jazz versions of some very classic material. This time around it is the turn to cover the music of the legendary bluesman Edgar Winter and, in truth, legendary hardly seems to do justice to the incredible musician that is Edgar Winter. I have to say that I have a real love of swing and jazz so these recordings are very special indeed as Ed Palermo is a stunning musician and his huge band are the real deal and he then adds numerous guests to make the music into a real spectacle.

Ed Palermo is the arranger, conductor and a musician of this quite wonderful sixteen piece big band and they offer such truly sublime and often quite radical versions up for our enjoyment and he also delights in covering some of the lesser know tracks too and it is a real surprise to hear how different they all sound having been given the big band sound and even given them a brand new lease of life. The album also has the Edgar Winter seal of approval and he has even written some very kind words about Ed and his band and the music that they have covered. You can check the songs, band members and guest musicians below and if that doesn’t inspire you to listen then I do not know what will because these musicians are hot, the brass is revelatory and the vocal performances are off the scale. The album is a pleasing mixture of instruments and vocals and they all work so beautifully together and all have the wow factor having been given the special Palermo treatment. It may not be rock or metal but it is jazz and swing of the highest order and each track is a wonderful piece of brilliance but if you want to hear a singer with a voice that would put an angelic choir (or more truthfully a devilish choir) to shame then check out Tobacco Road and the performance of Kim Davis as music does not get any better than this.

If you are an Edgar Winter fan (and let’s face it who isn’t) then give this brilliant album a listen to see a side of Winter that you never dreamed possible and you will also find that you cannot help but be moved by the brilliance of the band and music.

I’ve Got News For You – The Music Of Edgar Winter

  1. I Hate Everybody (Johnny Winter) (2:10)
  2. Tobacco Road(John D. Loudermilk) (4:24)
  3. Peace Pipe (Edgar Winter) (5:30)
  4. All Out (Edgar Winter) (3:16)
  5. A Different Game (4:01)
  6. Dyin’ to Live (Edgar Winter) (3:56)
  7. Jump Right Out (4:03)
  8. Entrance (3:46)
  9. Where Have You Gone (2:39)
  10. Rise to Fall (3:35)
  11. Fire and Ice (7:02)
  12. Hung Up (3:40)
  13. Back in the Blues (Edgar Winter) (2:27)
  14. Re-Entrance (2:30)
  15. You Are My Sunshine (Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell) (1:52)
  16. I’ve Got News For You (Roy Alfred) (3:46)

Musicians on the Album

Ed Palermo – arranger / conductor

The Ed Palermo Big Band
Cliff Lyons – alto sax, clarinet
Phil Chester – alto sax, flute
Bill Straub – tenor sax, clarinet
Ben Kono– tenor sax, flute, oboe
Barbara Cifelli – baritone sax
Ronnie Buttacavoli – lead trumpet
John Bailey – trumpet
Steve Jankowski – trumpet
Charlie Gordon – lead trombone
Mike oschen – trombone
Matt Ingman – bass trombone
Bob Quaranta – piano
Ted Kooshian – electric keyboards
Paul Adamy – electric bass
Ray Marchica – drums

Featured guest artists

Robben Ford – electric guitar
Kim Davis – vocals
Katie Jacoby – violin
Vaneese Thomas – vocals
Deb Lyons – vocals
Keith Anthony Fluitt – vocals
Chrissie Poland – vocals
Rob Paraozzi – vocals
Jimmy Leahey – electric guitar
Carlso Murguia – vocals

I Hate Everbody – Carlos Murguía, vocals; Jimmy Leahey, guitar; Ed Palermo, alto sax
Tobacco Road – Kim Davis, vocals; Robben Ford, guitar
Peace Pipe – Barbara Cifelli, baritone sax; Ted Kooshian, organ
All Out – Ed Palermo, alto sax
A Different Game – Chrissi Poland, vocals; Katie Jacoby, violin
Dyin’ To Live – Keith Anthony Fluitt, vocals
Jump Right Out – Kim Davis, vocals; Ed Palermo, alto sax
Entrance – Deb Lyons, vocals
Where Have You Gone – Keith Anthony Fluitt, vocals
Rise To Fall – Chrissi Poland, vocals
Fire And Ice – Chrissi Poland, vocals; Ed Palermo, alto sax; Bob Quaranta, piano
Hung Up – Keith Anthony Fluitt, vocals
Back In The Blues IN THE BLUES – Kim Davis, vocals; Ed Palermo, alto sax
Re-Entrance – Deb Lyons, vocals
You Are My Sunshine – Vaneese Thomas, vocals
I’ve Got News For You – Vaneese Thomas, vocals; Rob Paparozzi, vocals; Katie Jacoby, violin