Big Alpaca

Bill Simenson Orchestra


Pete Whitman – soprano and alto saxophone
Doug Little – alto saxophone and flute
Clay Pufahl – tenor saxophone
Scott Johnson – tenor saxophone
Gus Sandberg – baritone saxophone

Paul Stodolka – trumpet and flugelhorn
Bill Simenson – trumpet and flugelhorn
Elizabeth Stodolka – trumpet and flugelhorn
Jake Baldwin – trumpet and flugelhorn

Pete Enblom – trombone
Ryan Christianson – trombone
Matt Hanzelka – trombone
Derek Crosier – bass trombone

Ted Godbout – piano
David Martin – guitar
Chris Bates – bass
Dave Schmalenberger – drums

“One of the highpoints of the CD is “Steamboatin.’” The muted brass recalls early Duke Ellington, drum breaks interact with the ensembles, there are swinging solos from Whitman and Simenson, and the ensemble writing is masterful. “Mastodon” musically depicts the lumbering movements of a giant (and fortunately extinct) mammal. Trombonist Matt Hanzelka’s playing adds to the eerie and mysterious mood. “Pete’s Waltz” starts out as a light-hearted jazz waltz but becomes darker the longer the piece develops. “Big Alpaca” has a stop-time figure played by bassist Chris Bates that sets the stage for solos by trombonist Ryan Christianson and Simenson. This memorable set concludes with the mournful ballad “Might Have Been,” the ensemble-oriented “Titanium,” and the all-too-brief “Jerry’s Chaser (with tenor-saxophonist Scott Johnson).

Fans of modern big band writing and exciting ensembles will find much to enjoy on Bill Simenson’s Big Alpaca. The musicians are top-notch and the writing is world class. Highly recommended.” -Scott Yanow

Track List
  1. Bedlamoogie 1:53
  2. The Dune 6:02
  3. Uptick 4:02
  4. New Shoes 7:14
  5. Wheelman (take 3) 3:35
  6. Steamboatin’ 6:03
  7. Mastodon 5:14
  8. Pete’s Waltz 6:15
  9. Big Alpaca 7:14
  10. Might Have Been 3:25
  11. Titanium 4:58
  12. Jerry’s Chaser 1:12
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