It started as a challenge. And it grew into a phenomenon. The challenge was to reproduce the raw excitement and sublime emotions of the popular music that saw the greatest generation through WWII and heralded an American lifestyle that could only have occurred in the second half of the twentieth Century. The challenge was to achieve all this using contemporary musicians and technology; musicians who's talent was by economic necessity diffused into countless contemporary pop styles in addition to the requisite classical and pre-classical genres; technology which over the course of the past 50 years had been bent not only to support tonality in music but in some cases to largely supplant it.
Ruling out the possibility that contemporary popular music is an ideal vehicle with which to convey certain facets of emotional complexity, the necessity for taking-on such a challenge was clear. For in the end, we ask ourselves, "How many days go by in our life when we don't hear the name of a one of our famous crooners or a reference to them". No one questions that Sinatra was more than a singer. He was simultaneously a singer, actor, pop icon, pawn, power broker, affirmative action champion and son of a bitch. And then there is that style. The juxtaposition of among other things, sensuality and desire, power and vulnerability, optimism and despair.
And so it was in 2003 that a bold undertaking began. At first, vocal numbers were interspersed with instrumentals in a small combo. Gradually, after hour upon hour of lyric memorization and musical arranging, the songs now more than 1/2 century old began to breath life once again. But although the influence of the jazz combo on the act would never be forgotten, it was inevitable that the day should come when the act would burst the seams of it's quartet confines and find itself backed up by no fewer than 18 of the finest instrumentalists to be found anywhere. No longer was this show just a reflection of the music of a bygone era. No longer was the act relegated to the roll of background music. This was bold, sure-footed and anatomically correct. It now epitomized its era in Hi-Fi and reminds us what the fuss was all about. Lightning had struck twice; and seemingly in the most unlikely of places.
In Tulsa, generations of musicians pass down their craft in semi isolation from the ephemeral winds of distraction. Here is a place where travelers settle to bear the full fruits of their worldly encounters. Here is a place that has no overwhelming inherent beauty. No majestic mountains; no crystal clear lagoons. Temperatures which soar to over 110 in the Summer and below -20 in the Winter turn us inward in our quest for art. To be sure, the real beauty in this place is created by its inhabitants. Here, Count Basie first heard the Oklahoma City Blue Devils (that would eventually become the famous Count Basie Orchestra) at the Mayo Hotel. Nearby Yale was the birthplace of famous trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker and nearby Bartlesville the home of Patti Page. David Gates, Leon Russel, Toby Keith, Sam Rivers, Carrie Underwood, Jimmy Webb and countless others would call this area their home. This town which has not one, but two of the remaining active professional Orchestras came into its own during the era that created the great American songbook.
In the Chicago area around 1976, aspiring trumpet players were taught to memorize Clifford Brown solos. This singularly melodic approach to music would be tantamount to understanding the influence of vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, Louis Prima, Louis Armstrong among others on popular music of their era. (These incidentally appear to have been many of the very same influences - albeit on a largely contemporary basis - that influenced the popular crooners of the 30s and 40s). Indeed, it seemed to be the Italian crooners that had the knack for popularizing the styles of African American cultures. Perhaps it is the Italians' native situation between the African Continent and central Europe that allowed them to bridge the gap more efficiently than the Welch or the Irish. Sheer conjecture. Whatever the case, a kind of American music was created that is still regarded by many scholars as the greatest body of recorded popular music in existence. The commercial application of this very music is still heard today by one who ventures into any successful Italian restaurants.
One can ponder the qualities that give rise to the music's longevity but some things in life are better when just enjoyed. Just as the music is timeless and seems to be immune to the whims of style, people everywhere rely on it to mark significant events in their lives with the knowledge that the power of the music shall remain, undimmed, and will continue to speak to successive generations with the same passion and precision as it does ours.
 Ain't That a Kick In the Head
All of Me
All or Nothing at All
Almost Like Being In Love
Angel Eyes
April in Paris
Around the World
As Long as I'm Singin'
At Last
Autumn Leaves
Best is Yet to Come
Bluesette (Instrumental)
Body & Soul
Butterfly (Instrumental)
"C" Jam Blues (Instrumental)
Cantelope Island (Instrumental)
Caravan (Instrumental)
Cherokee (Instrumental)
Come Fly with Me
The Days of Wine and Roses
Dear John (Instrumental)
Do Nothing 'Till You Hear from Me
Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans
Don't Get Around Much Anymore
Don't Worry 'Bout Me
Embraceable You
Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime
Flintstones (Instrumental)
Fly Me to the Moon
A Foggy Day
Freddie the Freeloader (Instrumental)
Freedom Jazz Dance (Instrumental)
Funk in the Deep Freeze (Instrumental)
Fusion Juice (Instrumental)
Girl From Ipanema
Have You Met Miss Jones
I Could Have Danced All Night
I Could Write a Book
I Get a Kick Out of You
I Thought About You
I Won't Dance
In a Sentimental Mood (Instrumental or Girl Singer)
In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
It Don't Mean a Thing (if it ain't got that swing)
It Had to be You
I've Got You Under My Skin
Just Friends
Just in Time
Just One of those Things
The Lady is a Tramp
Little Less Conversation
Luck be a Lady Tonight
Mack the Knife
Moonlight in Vermont
More (Theme from Mondo Cane)
My Funny Valentine
My One and Only Love
My Way
New York, New York
Nice 'N Easy
Nice Work if You Can Get it
Night and Day
Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'
One for my Baby
One O'Clock
Ring-a-Ding Ding
Route 66
Scotch and Soda
So In Love
So What (Instrumental)
Someone to Watch over Me
Song for my Father (Instrumental)
Standing on the Corner
Stella by Starlight
Swingin' at the Haven (Instrumental)
Tangerine (Instrumental)
That's Amore
They Can't take that away from Me
Way You Look Tonight
We are In Love
When I Fall in Love
Where or When
Willow Weep for Me
Wives and Lovers (Hey, Little Girl)
You Do Something to Me
You Make me Feel So Young
You'd be so Nice to Come Home to
You're Nobody 'Till Somebody Loves You
The Christmas Song
Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!
Silent Night
We Three Kings
We Wish You a Merry Christmas