Denver & The Mile High Orchestra - Swing: The Best Of Denver & The Mile High Orchestra
STYLE: Jazz RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 20815-13746 LABEL: ICC ICC1018D FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £2.99
Reviewed by Allan Clare
Formed in 1999 this brass band has three trumpet players, three saxophone players, two trombone players and a rhythm section. If you've decided to pass on to the next review after reading the words "brass band" then think again. This isn't the Salvation Army in your local park on a Sunday afternoon but the classic big band/swing/jazz sound of Basie, Miller et al. It's a sound which seems to always be in vogue and Denver & The Mile High, who amongst bankrupt record labels and incessant touring have managed to put six albums out, have finally got their 'Best Of' remixed and remastered. But is it any good? In a word - yes. Things kick off with a big band cover of the US National Anthem, "Star Spangled Banner" - hmmm - but the band do what they do with next track "Act The Scat". I must admit I did find it a little incongruous at first hearing full on Christian lyrics over a typical big band vibe ("Jesus is true, no doubt he wants the same for you/So let those lyin' chains, let them be set free") but the superb playing and authentic band ensemble work won me over. Vocally you can't help wishing for someone of Sinatra's calibre to match the musicianship (yes, I know that's a big wish) but Denver does do an excellent job and it would be unfair to say he doesn't pull off most of the songs. There are two new tracks, "Love Of My Life" and "Hoosier Daddy", added to the "hits". If you're a believer who enjoys big band music you'd have to like this.
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In the 7 years since their inception, Denver and The Mile High Orchestra has travelled around the globe, taking their electrifying horn-driven sound to the masses. They have performed at festivals such as Bill Gaither's 'Praise Gathering', the Winter and Summer Olympics games, and served as the house band for the 36th Annual Gospel Music Awards. The big band sound of the 30's and 40's had long intrigued Denver, who had played the trumpet for 16 years, so he assembled a group of musicians and friends to reinvent the style for the modern age.