Top-call studio trumpeter Paul Cacia, who studied with Cat Anderson and Arturo Sandoval, materialized after a long hiatus to assemble his 10th album, his first in 15 years. It’s a compilation of sessions he organized from 1991 through 2005, and the list of players will make name-droppers drool: Arrangers include Bill Holman, Sam Nestico, Pete Rugolo and Ernie Wilkins, with Cacia listed on seven of nine tracks.
There is a reverb-drenched arrangement of “Nessun Dorma,” an aria from Puccini’s opera Turandot. Only a canine critic can appreciate Cacia’s stratospheric flights. Jazz-wise, “Take the ‘A’ Train” features tenorist Don Menza and trumpeter Snooky Young. Vocalist Jennifer Wood sounds at home on “Why Don’t You Do Right,” with pianist Paul Smith and trumpeter “Sweets” Edison. An excellent Rugolo chart on “Angel Eyes” includes trumpeters Pete and Conte Candoli and pianist Jimmy Rowles. There is also intense Latin percussion from Tito Puente, Victor Pantoja and Ray Armando pushing the studio-sized orchestra on “Love for Sale.”
The centerpiece is another Rugolo arrangement: his own tune, “Overtime,” with tenorist Pete Christlieb, altoist Gabe Baltazar, trombonist Bill Watrous and drummer Louis Bellson. Actually, there are more than a dozen soloists on “Overtime” (the only track with no Cacia solo), but no one seems to play more than 16 bars. A more serious shortcoming: total album time is 38 minutes.