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David Berger And The Sultans of Swing

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 11, 2003
New York, NY

About the Author:

David Berger And The Sultans of Swing

Rehearsal at Carroll's Music
351 West 41st Street, Btw. 8th and 9th Avenues.
NY, NY
212.868.4120
Manager, Kevin Curry

By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 11, 2003

This was my first experience watching a Big Band rehearsal, and it was certainly an enjoyable one. There were 14 musicians, including David Berger, Bandleader. This was very danceable music, with the musicians in excellent timing, rhythm, and mood. I heard long riffs on the saxophone, and a solo on a copper-colored trumpet. The trombones blended nicely, as did the percussion and drums. During the breaks, musicians took notes on the music with pencils and asked brief questions. Occasionally, David had the musicians break down the music into lettered sections, as they practiced one at a time and then the entire piece. He also, on occasion, told inside jokes about famous bands and musicians to keep the mood lighthearted.

T'Aint What You Do - This was a loud, brassy piece with a good old-fashioned vocalist, who doubled as a saxophonist.

A Whole New You - Extensive music sheets had to be arranged, to spread out, without needing to be touched, during the seamless performances of the sections. With the traditional Big Band sound of the 30's and 40's, as well as a fusion of more modern jazz, there were strong and muted trumpets, as the band started and stopped, frequently, to get it perfect. The groupings of various instruments in each lettered section were fascinating to hear and remarkable to photo.


Sure Thing - This was more Swing than Jazz and was practiced more seamlessly. The trumpet solo was lovely, and the band blended in a seasoned, collegial manner. Camaraderie was evident, as the musicians anticipated each other's musical entrances and exits.

Petite Fleur - This Rhumba had a definite clave beat, with the participation of the drummer, beating the Latin rhythm. Very nice piano trills enhanced the Latin mood. It was a great sound, and I could have been tempted to dance.

It's the Talk of the Town - David told jokes about Benny Goodman during this song rehearsal, as the musicians became a bit restless for a break. Yet, as the joke ends, the music begins with a blast, no pause—perfect togetherness. They even used their voices for extra emphasis. There were jazzy passages, led by the trombones, as well as very danceable portions.

Let's Fall in Love - This piece would be played for a Foxtrot, slow, slow, quick, quick, or for a slow Swing. A muted trumpet went wild, and portions of this piece reminded me of the Duke Ellington Orchestra (See Birdland Ellington Review).

All in all, I look forward in the near future to hear the Sultans of Swing in a full jazz or dance event, with formal dress, candles, and champagne. This band can be booked for Weddings, Corporate Events, Dance Events, Jazz Events, and Special Events. For more information on booking this Band, contact me (Roberta Zlokower) at Zlokower@bestweb.net.

Photos by Roberta Zlokower


Vocalist and David Berger



Trumpets



Percussion



Trumpets



Trombone



Saxophone



Muted Trumpets



Piano



Drums



Bass



Trumpet



Muted Trumpets



Saxophones



Muted Trombones



Trumpet



Saxophone



David Berger



Drums



Piano



Clarinet



Saxophones



Special Effect



Bass



Copper Trumpet



Taking Notes



Muted Trumpets



Special Effect

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