BLegacy - The Last Sessions


CD Reviews: Paul Cacia 'Legacy' #5500
International Trumpet Guild - Journal - Recording Reviews - March 2007


Legacy - The Last Sessions
The Paul Cacia Jazz Orchestra | Empressario 2006

By Edward Blanco

A trumpeter whose high-register playing style has been compared to the late Maynard Ferguson, Paul Cacia releases his tenth album and first in the last fifteen years with Legacy—The Last Sessions. It's essentially a compilation of studio sets during the years from 1991 to 2005 recorded with some degree of participation from 25 well-known big name jazz artists (among them Don Menza, Pete Christlieb, Bill Watrous, Tito Puente, Jack Sheldon, Pete and Condi Candoli, and Louie Bellson), some of whom have since passed away, hence the title The Last Sessions. The special guest list also includes legendary arrangers Sammy Nestico, Bill Holman, Ernie Wilkins and Pete Rugolo.

Mastered in HDCD technology, the audio quality here is superb, leaving you with the feeling that you’re sitting in the front row of a concert. The music includes straightahead big band jazz playing, one classical piece and eight pop/jazz standards, like Billy Strayhorn’s “Take The “A” Train,” “Stormy Weather,” “Round Midnight” and Cole Porter’s “Love For Sale.” It was a bit surprising to hear a jazz album open up in a classical mode with Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma,” which Cacia dominates, soloing in the high-note fashion which has become his trademark. There is a terrific rendition of “Take The 'A' Train,” spruced up with tasty solos from Don Menza (tenor), “Snooky” Young (trumpet) and the leader.

One of the best pieces on this album is “Why Don’t You Do Right,” with the only vocals, provided by the sensuous Jennifer Wood, whose sultry voice does the trick. Featuring the performance of no less than eighteen all-stars, Pete Rugolo’s “Overtime” is a bouncy number with an array of brief solos. Cacia shines with a substantial solo performance on both flugelhorn and high trumpet on the soft and slithering “Angel Eyes.” The sessions end with a slow version of “Round Midnight” and a percussive Latin-tinged “Love For Sale,” featuring the late Tito Puente on timbales.

Given the number and caliber of talented people Cacia assembled, albeit in a piecemeal fashion, to complete this project, I was left a bit disappointed about the shortage of material to savor. At only 38 minutes, this is one of the briefest big band albums I’ve heard. Nevertheless what I did hear managed to grab my attention. Legacy—The Last Sessions is a respectable recording containing exciting sonically enhanced interpretations of some well-known standards. With star-quality personnel, the musicianship is first-rate. In spite of some glaring shortcomings, this is one big band album that was worth the wait.

Track listing: Nessun Dorma; Take The "A" Train; Stormy Weather; Why Don't You Do Right; Overtime; Angel Eyes; Jordu; Round Midnight; Love For Sale.

Personnel: Paul Cacia: leader, conductor, trumpet. The Modern Studio Masters: Charlie Davis, Wayne Bergeron, Rick Baptist, Joe Davis, Frank Szabo: trumpets; Eric Jorgensen, David Stout, Mike Daigeau, Rich Bullock, Phil Teele: trombone; Tommy Johnson: tuba; Vince DeRosa, Art Maebe, Gus Klien, Jim Avery, Jeff DeRosa: horns; Marshal Royal, Buddt Collette, Don Menza, Jay Migliori, Jack Nimitz, Rusty Higgins: reeds; Louie Bellson, Paul Smith, Jimmy Rowles, Milcho Leview, Dave Stone, Jay Falcone: rhythm section; Jennifer Wood: vocals (4); Special Guests: Harry "Sweets" Edison, Tito Puente, Conti Candoli, Snooky Young, Jack Sheldon, Gabe Baltazar, Ray Reed, Bill Watrous, Pete Christlieb, Sal Marquez, Pete Candoli, Stacy Rowles and Chuck Findley.

Style: Big Band

Reprinted with permission.
Copyright © 2006 and Edward Blanco


Paul Cacia -- Legacy

Whoa! This CD is about great musicians, superb charts by great arrangers, a concert jazz orchestra, and a legacy! Can you imagine putting out a call for these musicians, composers and arrangers -- and they show up at various times for their part of one of the great jazz CD compilations?! This is not about calling a gizillion bass players and have them show up on a street corner in NYC. It is about stellar players, composers and arrangers coming in to do their thing. Here they are! The arranger/composers -- David Stout, Ernie Wilkins, Sammy Nistico, Pete Rugolo, Bill Holman, Paul Cacia; The players -- Don Menza, 'Snooky' Young, Paul Smith, Harry 'Sweets' Edison, Ray Reed, Joe Davis, Mike Daigeau, Pete Christlieb, Gabe Baltazar, Les Bendict, Bill Watrous, Dave Stone, Louis Bellson, Pete Candoli, Conte Candoli, Sal Manquez, Jimmy Rowles, Chuck Findley, Stacey Rowles, Jack Sheldon, Tito Puente, Victor Pantoja, Ray Armando, and Paul Cacia. And, did I mention vocalist Jennifer Wood.

The names alone shout out to you, "Whoa, this is a keeper!"

A dream group charting/performing great stalwart tunes: Nessun Dorma (yeah, Pavarotti's signature), Take the 'A' Train (Ellington's signature), Stormy Weather (Lena Horne's signature), Why Don't You Do Right, Overtime (Rugolo's composition to highlight star players in the late 40s and early 50s), Angel Eyes, Jordu (one of Clifford Brown's signatures), 'Round Midnight (so many signatures), and Love for Sale (Rugolo's Kenton band re-worked chart)....a veritable cornucopia of, "whoa," that's for me to listen!

Too much "halo effect" (cognitive and critical bias) you say? You mean there are no 'downers' on this CD. Not really. I would have preferred that the orchestra played and was recorded "live" with a jocular & loud biased audience. (I like 'live' performances)!

'Whoa', now don't go after me for the latter. With all of the musicians involved, a live performance would not have been possible. I know that. You know that. Give the recordings some slack!

OK. Having written all of that. Listen to this CD closely. Suspend your disbelieft, and enjoy the charts. Enjoy the musicians. And remember, for some, this may have been the last time they swung their axes. I did -- three times through before I put my fingers on the keyboard.

Indeed a legacy. Thanks Paul. As we said in my 'hood, "You done good!"

/s/ Tony
Anthony J. Agostinelli, Editor

Paul Cacia Jazz Orchestra -
Legacy - The Last Sessions - Empressario

A fine big band primer

Paul Cacia Jazz Orchestra - Legacy - The Last Sessions
Empressario 5500, 38:33 ****

Recorded during the years 1991 to 2005, Paul Cacia's 2006 compilation issue, Legacy -The Last Sessions, is a CD of jazz standards played by dream bands put together by Paul to honor the crème de la crème of jazz stars. Cacia had all the improvised solos recorded privately. For some of the all-star soloists, it was their last recording session, though Paul has not indicated which ones meet that reference. Some of the soloists thank goodness are still with us.

Cacia himself is known as a high note trumpet virtuoso in the mold of Maynard Ferguson. This is especially noted in the first track, the opera aria Nessun Dorma. Next comes Ellington's Take the A Train, which features solos by Don Menza on tenor and Snooky Young on trumpet, and a nice arrangement by the late Ernie Wilkins. Another classic, Stormy Weather, arranged by the great Basie arranger, Sammy Nestico has Cacia with solo trumpet and Flugelhorn honors.

The sole vocal track, Why Don't You Do Right, is sung in a sultry manner by Jennifer Wood, backed by solos by Paul Smith on piano and Harry Sweets Edison, on Harmon trumpet. Pete Rugolo's Overtime is a near five-minute solo extravaganza, with honors to a multitude of stars each getting a few bars: Ray Reed, Pete Christlieb, Gabe Baltazar, Bill Watrous, Louis Bellson, and Pete and Conte Candoli. This track alone is worth the cost of admission. The Candoli brothers are back again for the standard Angel Eyes and the late Jimmy Rowles has a brief opening solo. Duke Jordan's Jordu benefits by an arrangement by the brilliant West Coast legend, Bill Holman, who thankfully is still going strong today.

Monk's 'Round Midnight is done in a moody low-key manner and features Jimmy Rowles' daughter Stacy on flugelhorn, and Jack Sheldon on trumpet, before the full band kicks in. Closing the CD is Cole Porter's Love for Sale given a Latin treatment with the late Tito Puente on timbales and percussion by Victor Pantoja and Rey Armando. Non-soloists worth mentioning in some of Cacia's super bands include Marshall Royal, Jack Nimitz, and Buddy Collette on saxes and Wayne Bargeron on trumpet.

This Cacia release is a nice recommendation as an introductory CD for jazz fans who want an introduction to the world of big band jazz. It's a crash course in 38 minutes.

Tracks: Nessun Dorma, Take the A Train, Stormy Weather, Why Don‚t you Do Right, Overtime, Angel Eyes, Jordu, Round Midnight, Love For Sale

- Jeff Krow
Copyright 2006 Audiophile Audition


CD Reviews: Paul Cacia 'Legacy' #5500
Posted by: adminon Friday, June 23, 2006 - 07:29 AM
Listening to jazz trumpet-eer Paul Cacia is like listening to a modern.... in real time... yet contemporary ...Harry James. The sound is there, the technique flawless, & the ideas flowing constantly. And, few folks know that Harry James was a exponent of 'bebop' too. The big band idiom is my passion as well, & my readers will note the joy I feel fronting my big band. So, doing this review was totally painless. And, with arrangers like Pete Rugulo, Bill Holman, et al, the musical sensibilities of any jazz-phile can only be but sated. Please note the instrumental lineup .... a true study in ''legends''..i.e. Don Menza, Peter Christlieb, Bill Watrous, Jimmy Rowles, Pete & Conte Condoli, Jack Sheldon...Yea!! There all there ! This review writes itself, & the enclosed mentioned players are by default a testament to this fact, plus the utter success of the disc so aptly put together by the towering talent of a master trumpet player in his own right, one Paul Cacia. As a true devotee of the big band idiom, might I call the attention of my readers to the flawless section work...So much in tune....just absolute loveliness & loaded with musical spirit, soul & animation. This was truly an edifying experience for me. Thank you Paul!

George W. Carroll/The Musicians' Ombudsman


The Paul Cacia Jazz Orchestra: Legacy – The Last Sessions (Empressario 5500)

Paul Cacia, a trumpeter of the first rank, spent 14 years putting this spectacular session together, which was completed in late 2005. Over the course of the project, four world-class jazz arrangers and 25 Jazz Hall of Fame guest soloists participated. For some of the artists, this was their last recording, making the CD title even more relevant.

As Cacia explains, “This album presents a variety of styles and formats that show the versatility and diversity that a big band is capable of in the concert jazz orchestra idiom.”

“Take The A Train” gets a traditional, danceable swing treatment, with a powerhouse arrangement by Ernie Wilkins, highlighted by solos from such notables as “Snooky” Young, Don Menza, and Paul Smith. Leader Cacia demonstrates his powerful “high-note chops” on trumpet with a romping “Stormy Weather” arranged by Sammy Nestico. Central Ohio’s late, great trumpet master Harry “Sweets” Edison is smoothly, slyly showcased as he and the band back guest vocalist Jennifer Wood on an ultra-hip rendition of “Why Don’t You Do Right?”

Pete Rugolo’s written-and-arranged “Overtime” is classic West Coast big band – reminiscent of all those great sounds generated by Kenton, Holman, and Rogers in the mid-fifties. Soloists on this track include such legends as the brothers Candoli (Pete and Conte) on trumpets, Don Menza, Pete Christleib, and Gabe Baltazar on saxes, Bill Watrous on t-bone, Louis Bellson on drums, and many more. ‘Tis my favorite track on the album.

Whatever the selection, whatever the style, this is hard-core, straight-ahead jazz that will please, excite, and satisfy big band/jazz orchestra aficionados of all ages.

Fritz the Nite Owl Jazz
Smooth Jazz WJZA 103.5FM/104.3FM Sunday 9pm to 12 Midnight



Media name: Joost van Steen
Company name: Alphen Stad FM
Date: 2007-02-11 03:03:51
Feedback: Great Orchestra as Great Orchestra should be !! A CD to cherise !
Media name: Chrissy Rasmussen
Company name: 101FM Radio Logan
Date: 2006-12-15 09:57:17
Feedback: great music have played all tracks to my listeners they love it regards chrissy rasmussen
Media name: Ilan Oz
Company name: Radio Judaica Brussels
Date: 2006-12-07 11:30:05
Feedback: It was an interesting discovery, for me, to learn about the exitence of such a talented artist. Further more, the presence of some legendary names made it very attractive. Since having received it, the album got planty of airtime because it is the kind of music that my audience like and enjoy so it fits nicely into the show. In particular, one broadcast was devoted to trumpet players and the album came very useful. Thanks for the nice music!

Media name: Henry Brun
Company name: KRTU
Date: 2006-11-20 01:20:40
Feedback: Excellent production - only the best! Henry Brun

Media name: Richard Good
Company name: Radio One 91 FM
Date: 2006-11-14 03:23:34
Feedback: A record review, and ongoing airplay across several programmes of Radio One's Jazz Junction. A high powered big band with some big name artists. Interesting arrangements -perhaps on occasions too baroque for my taste. 
Media name: David Font
Company name: FM107.1 (2AAA)
Date: 2006-11-13 09:04:56
Feedback: Always a pleasure to feature new artists on our weekly jazz show... Nice sound... 
Media name: Lili
Company name: Artsound 92.7 FM
Date: 2006-11-02 07:15:52
Feedback: Thanks for an excellent CD. 
Media name: Sharron Grauner
Company name: BODFM Inc
Date: 2006-11-02 07:01:55
Feedback: Thank you for your Cd. It has been placed in our Cd library for consideration for airplay by our DJ's.  
Media name: Mudshark
Company name: KVMR-FM Nevada City
Date: 2006-10-18 07:36:40
Feedback: Absolutely INCREDIBLE !!! ~~~~ NEVADA
Media name: Marilyn Arnold
Company name: 91.3 KVLU - FM
Date: 2006-10-16 07:00:52
Feedback: This a great CD! I have played several cuts on my program. The big band sound is alive and growing in Beaumont, Texas, and this is a great addition to my library. I like the standards the best and play them regularly on my jazz program. Thanks! ...Marilyn Arnold
~~~~ TEXAS
Media name: Louis Brunet
Company name: CKMN-FM 96,5
Date: 2006-09-27 05:24:58
Feedback: Very good cd ! I've played it in my show many times.

Media name: perrichon jacques
Company name: RADIO PLURIEL91.5
Date: 2006-09-25 10:32:56
Feedback: Bonjour, thanks for your so great music I really enjoyed. I added it to my WJAZ broadcast play list on RADIO PLURIEL 91.5FM in France, plus worldwide INTERNET via our web site, Best regards, Jacques Perrichon for WJAZ. ~~~~FRANCE

Media name: Bruno Pollacci
Company name: Animajazz
Date: 2006-09-21 07:43:48

Feedback: Many compliments for your music.
Dopodichè passeremo alla fantastica tromba di PAUL CACIA, che con la sua Orchestra ci farà ascoltare una particolare interpretazione della mitica "Love For Sale", tratta dal CD "CACIA LEGACY".

Media name: Mark Robinson
Company name: GeorgeFM
Date: 2006-09-18 04:42:38
Feedback: Hi, This is a great CD release. I will be featuring it on my jazz shows here in NZ over the next few weeks. Thanks for sending it to me. Cheers, Mark

Media name: John van Eijsden
Company name: Lokale Omroep Hoogeveen
Date: 2006-09-15 01:20:15
Feedback: A very nice album, fit for our program. We used several tracks in the Afterdinnerjazz radio program last week. Thanks! ~~~~NETHERLANDS

Media name: William Jervis
Company name: Radio lu
Date: 2006-09-12 02:54:30
Feedback: Fans said sounds were great! Willie ~~~~LUXEMBOURG

Media name: Lenny Mazel
Company name: KCME-FM
Date: 2006-09-12 10:20:01
Feedback: Great stuff. Great cast of artists. Very exciting. Good response from my listeners. Lenny Mazel KCME-FM

Media name: Leon Reyes
Company name: KVMR Radio
Date: 2006-09-11 08:06:12
Feedback: WOW! I can't believe that I have this superb CD in my collection of big band music. I could not put it down. I went to bed listening to Paul's music on my bedroom boombox. This is big band at it's best. Paul, I take my musical hat off to you and the rest of the band members. Tell them all that I said GREAT JOB! One suggestion please, I want to hear more of Jinnifer Wood on your next CD. I hope that you'll remember me. This CD is already a regular on my show, Leon's Jazz In A Box. Best Regards, Leon Reyes WOW! WOW! ~~~~CALIFORNIA

Media name: Bob Parzych
Company name: WRTC
Date: 2006-09-12 09:00:02
Feedback: Great Stuff... Love the arrangements and the interpretation of some of the classics!

Media name: Alex Pijnen
Company name: BRTO Radio
Date: 2006-09-04 12:12:30
Feedback: Fantastic Album. Great stuff for our Radio Station!


Media name: Lynn Wells / Geof Cartledge
Company name: West Gippsland Community Radio
Date: 2006-08-27 07:13:36
Feedback: Thank you for the CD "Cacia - Legacy - The Last Sessions" you sent us. It has been played in our Jazz programs and is receiving recognition. Regards, Geof Cartledge, Presenter/Library Co-ordinator,3BBR-FM, Drouin. Vic. ~~~~ AUSTRALIA

Media name: Tony Bates
Company name: Highlands 100.7FM
Date: 2006-08-19 07:57:10
Feedback: Great to hear such classics rendered in a very professional manner. The orchestral interplay just leaves one calling for more. Artistic genius at work, here, definitely!

Media name: Peter L. Poses, Ph.D., LMFT
Company name: KRFC FT COLLINS 88.9FM HomeGrown Community Radio
Date: 2006-08-17 12:29:04
Feedback: Jesse: Howzzit --- A new WC name for me, though I'm familiar w/ some of The Playerzz. I've enjoyed the lush, multi-layered & textured soundzz. It was fortuitous that there was a version of "Jordu" to play for my rememberance set. Also, as U may or may not know, I begin each of my showzz w/ a ""Round Midnight" rendition, aiming to be non-repetitive (I've most succeeded). I'm delighted there's a version on "Legacy" which I will spin tonight. UTNG, dig, Peter ~~~~COLORADO

Media name: Armen Manukyan
Company name: ARDZAGANK Music Company
Date: 2006-08-17 02:27:27
Feedback: Excellent album! Excellent musician! Really Fantastic! The first track - Nessun Dorma - is Masterpiece! Thank you!
Media name: Michael Criddle
ompany name: Triple H-FM
Date: 2006-08-12 09:00:42
Feedback: What a great sound you have, I have played several of your tracks to date and plan to schedule more in future programs. Keep up the good work and please keep me up to date with your progress Regards, Michael Criddle- OzRadio ~~~~AUSTRALIA

Media name: Helen Jarroe
Company name: Cairns FM89.1
Date: 2006-08-09 12:01:58
Feedback: This is an abolute gem of an album. My listeners love it, and I also am passing it onto Jim Cadman who has a "Best of Brass" show, and is a trumpeter and conductor himself. He will be thrilled to feature a whole programme on it. I think it is one of the best albums I've ever received from Radio DirectX. My listeners love the big band and swing era - I also do a Golden Memories slot for 2 hours on Sunday mornings, so it is going to get a lot of airplay then too, with lots of talking about the numbers themselves. On Jazz on Saturday I am featuring it on a big band and trumpet special. thanks for all the information as well, it really helps when preparing programmes. Thanks so much for the opportunity to play and review this very special piece of work. Kind regards, Helen Jarroe ~~~~AUSTRALIA

Media name: John Ford
Company name: KAOS-fm Olympia Community Radio
Date: 2006-08-09 11:30:45
Feedback: nice disc- getting a bit of play... but we do keep new releases in "New" for a three month window so's all our 85+ volunteers have the opportunity to peruse it -- so who knows??
John Ford ~~~~WASHINGTON

Media name: Bob Levoy
Company name: WRHU FM
Date: 2006-08-08 03:12:21
Feedback: "Legacy has it all: jazz classics played with superb musicianship led by trumpeter Paul Cacia. . .and awesome arrangements by musical greats. Homerun!" Bob Collins The Jazz Cafe WRHU ~~~~NEW YORK
Media name: John Ziegler
Company name: KUMD
Date: 2006-08-05 03:12:21
Feedback: Just a note to say we have been playing the new release here a 100,000 watt KUMD in Duluth, MN. Good record! Within big band jazz releases, this is a recent favorite! It is getting 2-3 spins a week. Best Regards, John ~~~~MINNESOTA
Media name: Barry O\'Sullivan
Company name: BLU FM 89.1
Date: 2006-08-03 10:12:23
Feedback: A great big band album.The superb arrangements and fine players make this one a class act.I loved it and will add tracks to my playlist from time to time when only a big band will do! Barry O'Sullivan-Producer/Presenter of A Jazz Hour across Australia via the CBAA network to 181 stations each week at 5pm Saturday.

Media name: Pascal Dorban
Company name: Radio ARA , Luxembourg
Date: 2006-07-21 03:05:44
Feedback: Franck Sinatra himself apparently said very nice things about this trumpet player, how could he be wrong? In the field of mainstream jazz this big band's recording is indeed of the highest quality. Pascal Dorban Radio ARA ~~~~LUXEMBOURG

Media name: Gene Purcell, Regional Manager
Company name: Wisconsin Public Radio - WLSU-FM
Date: 2006-07-20 06:48:23
Feedback: Thanks for sending us your CD: "Legacy - The Last Sessions" - Congratulations! It's outstanding. It went into our play list and began airing on 7/10/06. We've had very good feedback, and we would really like to have your other releases for our listners. We will be happy to give them good air time. Thanks, Gene ~~~~WISCONSIN

Media name: Harold Ellison
Company name: Shoalhaven Community Radio Inc.
Date: 2006-07-14 06:48:23
Feedback: A very enjoyable album with several tracks that I shall be playing on my program, especially tracks 1, 4 and 8. All the best, Harold Ellison "The Jazz Cafe" TripleU-FM Nowra, New South Wales Australia ~~~~AUSTRALIA

Media name: John Reid
Company name: Keith Community Radio
Date: 2006-07-05 11:55:46
Feedback: Thank you for sending this C.D. This is a truly outstanding recording which epitomises the class,quality,and genius of the top bands from the Swing Era. Leading from the front with flawless Trumpet playing Mr Cacia has assembled an Orchestra of sublime talent. The arrangements and production are faultless and are reflected by the standard of Musicianship on the various tracks . This recording was a pleasure to listen to, this will receive complete airplay on our Radio Station. Brilliant !! Best Wishes John Reid Keith Community Radio 102.8 FM Keith - Banffshire ~~~~SCOTLAND
Media name: Armen Manukyan
Company name: ARDZAGANK Music Company
Date: 2006-07-21 06:48:43
Feedback: Excellent! For many years already I have not listen to such and great trumpet sound! Nessun Dorma is the Best! bIg Band and GReat musicians! Perfect sound, lovely tunes! ~~~~ARMENIA