Two groovy Doc Severinson albums – back to back on a single CD! Rhapsody For Now is kind of a cool concept album for Doc Severinsen – one that has him blowing amidst some larger suites arranged by Oliver Nelson
, Harry Betts, and Tommy Newsom – each with a slightly different feel! The set starts out with the hip "Rhapsody For Now" – comprised of some cool 70s tunes like "Live & Let Die", "Soul Makossa", "Shambala", and "Touch Me In The Morning" – done up in hip big band arrangements by Nelson
that are totally great. The same groove follows in the shorter "Pictures", arranged by Lenny Stack – which is a sweet funky number! "Rhapsody For Then" is next – but the "then" is really just the late 60s – as Severinson blows trumpet over big band versions of "California Dreamin", "Look Of Love", "A Song For You", and "Sweet Caroline". The set ends with straighter jazz on "I Remember Louis" – a suite of tunes associated with Louis Armstrong, but still given a pretty 70s twist in the arrangements. Doc is a set of upbeat, jazzy ditties all arranged by Dick Hyman – with a brightly swinging feel that's a hip mix of late 60s mod and early 70s funk! Doc's brassy sound is perfect for the setting – and he really polishes off the top of Hyman's arrangements nicely – never stretching out too far in his solos, nor straying to far from the melodies – but always providing more than enough "voice" with his horn to deepen the cuts past standard instrumental modes. Titles include "Liberia", "Theme From Portnoy's Complaint", "Living Free", "Bonnie", "The Godfather Waltz", "Lucky Me", "I Only Want To say", and "Theme From Summer Of 42".
(Hybrid Super Audio CD pressing – also works on standard CD players!)