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Frank Capp Juggernaut: Play it Again Sam

Building on the album’s title, a reference to both composer arranger Sam Nestico and the famed film in which the frequently misquoted line was supposedly said, the cover photo shows Capp dressed in a Bogie-like trench coat and fedora a la Casablanca, while the tray credits are set up in the style of a movie ad. A cute idea, but this Frank, far from being either a Capra or a Coppola, is, and has been for decades a top-flight jazz drummer whose orchestral outputs neither need nor deserve allusions to the accomplishments of others. With 12 swinging charts by Nestico, a principal architect of the Basie “New Testament” sound, the Capp crew displays a sectional tightness and communal enthusiasm likely to become the envy of and model for the now countless campus-based big bands across the country.

Soloists on these uniformly memorable tracks are trumpeters Carl Saunders, Conte Candoli, Bob Summers and Bill Berry, trombonists Thurman Green and Andy Martin, altomen Jackie Kelso and Steve Wilkerson, tenorman Pete Christlieb and Ricky Woodward, and pianist Gerry Wiggins-in other words, most of the “usual suspects” regularly rounded up for classy Hollywood dates. But this easy categorization is not meant in any way to underplay the jazz value of these musicians’ contributions. They are truly among the best in or out of the studios.

Originally Published