Fortunato & The Emperors of Swing
parents try to teach their children the value of a dollar.
If you want a big bang for your buck, let me recommend
the ambitiously titled debut CD, 1 (as in volumes),
by Tony Fortunato & the Emperors of Swing (DOK ROK
Records). There are 22 tracks of music waiting for the
listener, served up to order by Fortunato in his multi-tasking
role of saxophone, vocals, and conductor. He's backed
by a full range of trumpets, trombones, tuba, guitar,
bass and drums in classic big band style. The throaty
Brenna Thorpe rounds out the swingin' sounds with a voice
that is rich with honey. The taste is particularly sweet
on "When I Fall in Love" and Fly Me To The Moon."
mistaking, this is an album of standards. Some of the
more inventive arrangements include "My Opener,"
a star-spangled declaration that every swing DJ should
own, and "Jump Jive & Wail," which seems
deceptively predictable until a fascinating mambo backbeat
throws you off balance. The Emperors' swingtastic version
of "Summertime" is another standout. The album
overall is very danceable, and Fortunato approaches his
material with a great desire to stir the heart of a lindy
hopper. The tracks pop with an abrupt pace and then move
into slow dance torch songs, from the opening "Whistle
Me Some Blues" to "It's Almost Like Being in
Love." You have to love a sound this big, and 22
tracks is barely enough to contain it.