The Midiri Brothers Orchestra

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Los Angeles Jazz Scene magazine, October 2003

Waxing Poetic Reviews
by Scott Yanow

Jammin' At Bridgewater

One of the major hits of the past two Orange County Classic Jazz Festivals, the Midiri Brothers are based in New Jersey and perform music in the vein of the early 1940s Benny Goodman sextet. Clarinetist Joe Midiri is one of the outstanding swing clarinetists around today while his twin brother Paul Midiri is his counterpart on vibes. Their group also includes the lyrical trumpeter Dan Tobias, guitarist Pat Mercuri (who hints at times at Charlie Christian), bassist Gary Cattley and drummer Jim Lawlor.

Jammin' at Bridgewater features the band at a live gig from last January, plus one selection (a lengthy "You Took Advantage Of Me") from seven months earlier with Joe Holt added on piano. Although the music does not quite catch on fire at the same intense level as the group did in Orange County, it comes quite close many times. Among the numerous highlights are "Shine," "Stompin' At The Savoy," a riff-filled "Breakfast Feud," a version of "East Of The Sun" that is a clarinet-guitar duet, and a heated rendition of "Limehouse Blues."

The Midiri Brothers deserve to be much better known for their sextet in one of the most exciting small group swing units around today. This highly recommended disc and several others are available from and Midiri Music (P.O. Box 961, Mays Landing, NJ 08330).


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