HICKS/RUGOLO DISC SOLID
By George Fendel/Kyle O’Brien
Robert Hicks fulfills a long standing wish to record with Pete Rugolo, an arranger with head-spinning credentials covering the last 50 years. The pairing couldn’t be better. Hicks is tops, as a fantastic big band, featuring Pete and Conte Candoli, Steve Wilkerson and others blast away with him. The music runs the gamut from Cole Porter’s only rock tune, “Ritz Roll & Rock” to Stravinsky’s “Firebird Jumps”! Picking unconventional tunes like “Out Of The Shadows” and “Rika Jika Jack” adds even more authenticity to this finely produced album. Hicks brings all his energy and musicianship to this labor of love. You can hear it in every selection.
Velocity/Alternator, 1999. ****1/2