Leaders of ghost bands are literally haunted by past sounds. Fans, steeped in nostalgia, expect to hear Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, etc., come alive with arrangements, and sometimes solos, intact. Don’t count on the leader of today’s Gene Krupa band to resurrect yesterday. Once Michael Berkowitz secured the rights to the Krupa book in 2004, he went his own way, and now that the new/old band has made its recording debut, I like Mike’s way. It’s a highly responsive, 17-piece band, plus singer Annette Sanders, boasting an updated book with occasional nods to its inspiration.
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.