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18.4.08

Hoops McCann Band




Hoops McCann Band - Plays The Music Of Steely Dan - 1988 - MCA

A GRADE A tribute album from The Hoops McCann Band, unusual in that the band members all played with Becker & Fagen at one time or another on original Steely Dan albums, tracks, or at live concerts. This album got the "go ahead" from Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. The Hoops McCann Band was comprised of some of the greatest L.A. session musicians. Originally, the band formed to play a live concert at a jazz festival in Oregon. They did a whole set of Dan tunes with the big band sound treatment. And what a sound! Victor Feldman, the amazing percussionist and veteran of many Steely Dan sessions arranged one of the songs on this album (Babylon Sisters), and was a charter member of Hoops McCann, but sadly passed away, and didn't play on the album. There have been quite a few Dan tribute albums, but only three capture the essence of Becker & Fagens unique chord changes and time signatures, and give a satisfactory interpretation of their music. Along with this album, it is the opinion of A.O.O.F.C, that the other two albums are - 1. Justin Morell Quintet - The Music of Steely Dan @ JMQ/PTMOSD and 2. Sara Isaksson & Rebecka Törnqvist - Fire In The Hole @ Isaksson/Törnqvist/FITH A.O.O.F.C would especially welcome views on this opinion.

N.B: My eternal thanks to Bennett, who went to the trouble of sending me this rare album. Sorry I forgot to credit you Bennett as I did on original post. The original link expired, and when I reposted album, I forgot to credit you again. My apologies (A.O.O.F.C)


TRACKS

1 Black Cow Horn section comes rumbling out of the gate. The guitar lines are plucked carefully to accentuate the sounds. The brass handles the melody through the first chorus. And then the piano takes over on the bridge. The horns keep rocking back and forth and that furious guitar line keeps striking through it all. Then we flip to a strong alto sax solo. This really is a clearly cut big band arrangement of this song. It has a Stan Kenton feel to it. And then we have the Tenor taking charge. And then Chuck Findley taking a ride on the trumpet, with all of these great soloists it isn t surprising that this music has been so well received. And then the master himself, Paul Humphries applies his gentle touch to this song he takes a very energetic drum solo. He played drums on the original on Aja.

2 Babylon Sisters A beginning of simple muted trumpet and piano, played like in a smoky back room. And then the horn section comes in with some sort of avant-garde jazz chords for the end of the intro. Then the band comes in, and they are playing it as a swing. The horns are working up and down against one another. Michael Lang is soloing hard over the top of it all. The Saxes are using some of the horn lines from the original song, but varied, delightful. Then the guitar solos over the top of all of that. This is followed by a series of solos.

3 Rapunzel Here we have a song written by Donald and Walter for another original jazz project that they had produced. It was written for the Pete Christlieb Warne Marsh Quintet album Apogee. This was a 1978 Warner Brothers release, and yet another very hard to find bit of music. There is an absolutely lovely baritone solo from Bill Perk Perkins. This is followed closely by a tenor solo from Jim Coile. And then Michael Lang takes it out in a very difficult role of playing piano on a sort of Steely Dan record date.

4 Glamour Profession This is a lovely big band arrangement of the Hoops McCann signature song. Duke Ellington would have been proud, the sax section battles back and forth with the brass. And then there is a nice break where Perkins picks up the flute and plays in unison with the piano on the bridge. The trombones play a more prominent role in this song. This is the one from the Gaucho album with the line about Hoops McCann, where this band took their name. Really nice arrangement and there are some great solos on this song as well.

5 Throw Back The Little Ones One of Steely Dan s dirtier songs, with their innuendo and their naughty ways. Throw back the little ones, and pan fry the big ones, use tack, poise and reason, and gently squeeze them. Oh yeah.

Mitch Holder takes the lead on guitar and guides the song along. The horn section works around him. And then there is a break for Chuck Berghofer to solo on electric bass, with well-timed Rhodes dropped in around it and subtle guitar licks. The bass solo is one of the highlights of the album. Chuck plays hard and melodic, and he does his share of be-bop lines, and then the horns come storming back in to take it home.

6 Deacon Blues This song starts out with the most gentle piano of the album. This is really Michael Lang s chance to shine. He plays much of the song solo. He starts out with a little Art Tatum thing, solo, all alone and all over the keys. And then he begins to explore Donald s lovely chords. This is a song that is built around blues chords and makes room for a lot of very deep playing.

The band comes in and plays trio for a while, Humphries on brushes, and Berghofer on the upright. This is the smoky bar, old days in Paris kind of jazz. The soloing is brilliant and lapses at a point into a Claude Bolling kind of feel. The upright takes a chorus of solo and then the song is back. This is the prettiest song on the record by far.

7 Green Earrings This starts with the full band sound, and back to electric. The trumpet section is playing this high and wailing. The band is playing a fast swing with heavy work on the ride symbol. Then we go to a very Parkeresque alto solo from Jerome Richardson. There is no doubt that be-bop lives. Chuck Findley, one of the best in the business, follows this closely on the heels and he follows the bird ideas with his best diz ideas. The band comes back in with Findley again screaming over the top of a complex rhythm, and the band takes it home big band style.

8 Three By Wally And Donald The band finishes with a medley of three, beginning with Black Cow. The beginning is the same basic arrangement as the tune itself heard earlier. The horn section writing on this part of the song is stunning. Then they transition into that lovely solo piano business of Deacon Blues. Michael Lang playing tasty and gentle. And finally the band comes full circle by sliding lovingly into the vagina of Babylon Sisters. And this song is where we fade into the night. They recreate that amazing horn section part at the end of Babylon Sisters, and move with it as gracefully as section could. They finish with a flourish.

Track reviews are © deaser26 -- a member of Epinions and Top Reviewer in Music, epinions.com, from http://search.reviews.ebay.ca/Plays-The-Music-Of-Steely-Dan_UPC_076742220228_W0QQfvcsZ1294QQsoprZ3055715QQucptZ1QQupvrZ4QQuvidZ10000000000207092, [© 1995-2008 eBay Inc. All Rights Reserved.]

BAND

Chuck Berghofer - Bass
Jim Coile - Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
Chuck Findley - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Mitch Holder - Guitar
Paul Humphrey - Drums
Slyde Hyde - Trombone, Tuba, Trombone (Bass)
Michael Lang - Piano
Bill Perkins - Sax (Baritone), Sax (Soprano)
Jerome Richardson - Flute, Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano)
Joe Roccisano - Conductor, Producer
The late Victor Feldman arranged "Babylon Sisters."

17 comments:

evilagan said...

Man this is great! you made me so very happy. I'm forever in your gratitude. Thank you for this one!!!!!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Welcome back, evilagan. Thank you. A chap called Bennett went to all the trouble of ripping this from vinyl, and upping it and sending it to me. I am in his debt! But I can't believe how hard it is to obtain this great album. It's a wonderful jazz album, so enjoy it! Cheers...A.O.O.F.C

Anonymous said...

gracias

A.O.O.F.C said...

Gracias to you too, anonymous. Please keep in touch with A.O.O.F.C

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I always wondered if the special delivery was to someone real!! Look forward to the listening

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi! anonymous. The original "Hoops McCann" is found in the lyrics of the brilliant Steely Dan track, "Glamour Profession" from their "Gaucho" album. If you're not familiar with Steely Dan, check it out. Thanks for comment, & come back soon to A.O.O.F.C

drfeelgoed said...

I used to have this album on tape, but it disapeared long time ago, so many thanks.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks, & welcome back, drfeelgoed.
It's one of the better Dan cover albums. Hope to hear from you again soon.

Mikey said...

Hi, the link to this album is broken. Is there any chance you could upload the album? Thanks

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Mikey.Thanks for comment and request. New link due in 2-3 days. Have you heard album @
http://overdoseoffingalcocoa.blogspot.com/2008/10/woody-herman-band.html

Anonymous said...

I am glad I upped this album, thought i was the only one who listened to it,it really was easy to do since I had it on tape and burned it to cd and then sent it in AOOFC, glad everyone is enjoying it. Bennett OP

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Bennett. I re-upped this album when link expired. I forgot to give you credit as I had in original post. I've made amends now. Thanks a million

Anonymous said...

Glad I could help out, I almost feel like a celebrity with my name on the net. Bennett

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Bennett! You're a major dude in my eyes! The album had escaped me for years, and your copy was Grade A. Thanks again, & come back soon. This blog needs celebrities like you!!

A.O.O.F.C said...

NEW LINK

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank you Fingal Cocoa and specially Bennett for reposting this album. How i traveled abroad trying to find it desperately when internet didn´t exist or being so popular. I'll taste the other 2 tributes to Steely Dan, but this was the first i heard about.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks Anonymous. It's a good covers album. Bennett's a major dude. I was chasing the album for a long time also. Thanks for comment & keep in touch