- Artist: Four Piece Suit
- Format: CD
- Release Date:3/6/2003
Matinee Idylls, the long-awaited second album by Four Piece Suit has finally arrived. Their new CD spins through surprising realms--a musical Tilt-a-Whirl that only Four Piece Suit could pilot. By turns swinging, romantic, exotic, or downright wacky, be ready for a romp. The Four Piece suit sound has often been called 'cinematic', and this new collection goes further than ever in that direction...from the opening salvo of high-voltage jaw harp the final splash of their rave-up Old Cape Cod , this is music you can see. Matinee Idylls relies heavily on original compositions, but still includes some of the inspired and improbable cover versions for which the band has become known. There is even a vocal number, a departure for this quintessential instrumental band, the show-stopping swinger Go Ahead and Burn. The Four Piece Suit story began in 1996. Coming out of one of the world's most highly acclaimed live R&B/Jump bands, Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, Four Piece Suit introduced their unique romantic and exotic blend of instrumental music with all the fire and groove that made them club favorites from Halifax to Helsinki. Their debut CD, Ready to Where?, was added to 120 radio station playlists around the U.S.A., breaking into the CMJ charts, and making it onto the Grammy ballot for Best Pop Instrumental and Best Instrumental Arrangement for their version of Henry Mancini's Something for Cat from 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', which appeared not only on their own CD but also on the Mancini tribute CD, Shots in the Dark , on Del-Fi Records. The Four Piece Suit highball is a mix of sea-foam soaked guitar and squalling tenor sax, shaken--not stirred--with Finnish surf tangos, Battista-Era mambos, Depression swing, Slavic hoe-downs, spaghetti Westerns, beach blanket boppers, spy music, crime jazz, and movie themes. Just the thing for audiences thirsty for a shot of rock'n'roll in their cocktail music, with a twist of romance. In recent months, despite the fact that their music goes way beyond any one category, Four Piece Suit have become associated with the Swing movement, largely owing to their frequent pairings with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy for sold-out shows in venues like San Francisco's legendary Fillmore auditorium, Los Angeles' House of Blues, and before an audience of 30,000 at Boston's Hatch Shell, home of the Boston Pops. From Austin to Boston, guitarist Milt Reder, Saxophonist David Sholl, drummer Lorne Entress, and bassist Dean Cassell continue to criss-cross the country. They've done sold-out shows at Austin's Continental Club for South by Southwest, live broadcasts on Chris Douridas' National Public Radio show, and are frequently featured on MuchMusic TV. At MixFest '98 they rocked a Boston audience of 50,000 on the bill with Barenaked Ladies, Hootie and the Blowfish, and Royal Crown Revue. They've also shared stages with Los Lobos, Sam Butera, Natalie Merchant, and Pat Boone as the most versatile opening act since Booker T and the MGs. Four Piece Suit has been working closely with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy producer Brad Benedict, creator of the Platinum Ultralounge CD series on Capitol. The band have since become regulars at Capitol Studios and will make their major label debut on the Welcome to Coolsville and Coolsville Christmas compilations on Benedict's Coolsville/Interscope label. They have also surfaced on numerous compilations, including the Mancini tribute, Cherrydisc's Tube II , Instrumental Fire, Perfect Swing , and others. An obvious choice for film soundtrack work, Four Piece Suit's most recent project was for the HBO film Stag with Kevin Dillon. Their in-house state-of-the-art studio, Rear Window, featured on the cover of the August '96 Mix magazine, enables them to work quickly and inexpensively on music 'made to order' for producers, directors, and music supervisors. (See the section on the recording studio for more details on this.) Separating fact from fiction regarding the lives of the players in this band is never easy. Here is what we know: Sax man David Sholl grew up listening to the great honkers of the 1950's and is one of the few possessors of 'the tone'. He has played with Big Mama Thornton, Dr. John, and Barrence Whitfield, as well as 'free jazz' groups like the experimental Blue Moose, and was an original member of Cambridge's House of Blues house band. In addition to Four Piece Suit, David is an integral part of the Fathoms, one of the hottest Surf bands ever, recording on the Musick label. He will also appear on the Blue Hawaiians CD on Coolsville/Interscope. David is an accomplished painter and social worker and is director of the JamPlan, a recording studio in inner-city Boston, which is available free of charge to the city's young musicians, singers and rappers. Drummer Lorne Entress has recorded as instrumentalist and/or producer with Mighty Sam McClain (Audioquest), Duke Levine (Daring Records), Barrence Whitfield (Rounder), Les Sampou (Rounder) and a number of artists on the Signature Sounds label, including his latest work with Brooks Williams and Mark Erelli (both to be released this coming spring). You can also hear his drumming on the soundtrack of John Sayles upcoming movie. Lorne's live performance resume is a literal who's who in New England music including such names as Jonatha Brooke, Susan Tedeschi, The Radio Kings, Ellis Paul, Bruce Katz, Johnny Hoy, Kevin Connelly, Ronnie Earl, Mark Sandman, and Toni Lynn Washington. In addition to drums and percussion he also plays guitar, mandolin, jaw harp, sings, and has just aquired a zither!(though that may take a while to master) He's also contributed as a songwriter to many recordings, and has recently completed an instructional book for the Mel Bay Publishing Co. titled Time and Drumming. Bassist Dean Cassell has been in some of New England's most influential groups in a wide variety of musical categories. He was at the top of Boston's punk/hard rock scene with seminal band the Streets, enjoyed heavy radio airplay and club popularity with the Make, Hearts on Fire, and toured the world for many years with Barrence Whitfield and the Savages. He has been in demand as a Blues player, working regularly with the Radio Kings, Shirley Lewis, and many other national touring Blues artists. When Robin Lane made her first recording in a number of years, Dean contributed heavily to a very different kind of sound: Pop/Folk. His playing is deeply rooted in the R&B tradition of Motown's James Jamerson, but makes surprising forays into every corner of rock'n'roll. Guitarist Milt Reder spent the eary Sixties in New York City as one of Ray Charles' youngest fans, but picked up a guitar after the Beatles played Ed Sullivan's show. Mentored by Broadway's Jule Styne, he went on to co-write songs with Don (Mercy, Mercy) Covay and Bennie (Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood ) Benjamin. One of his songs, Red Bandanna, was the first and only song to be performed in English by Latin music superstar Danny Rivera at Madison Square Garden in NYC. He wrote most of the catalog for Roots Rocker Barrence Whitfield and the Savages, with whom he toured for many years. He has worked as sideman and session player for Bo Diddley, Robin Lane, the Blue Hawaiians, Brother Red (with Plas Johnson), and Susan Tedeschi. As the creator of Rear Window studio, Milt has produced records by Barrence Whitfield, Four Piece Suit, the Groove Juice Symphony, Sugar Twins and others. For Milt, Four Piece Suit is a natural progression, based on some of the exotic sounds his cosmopolitan parents and their lounge-lizard pals brought home from Cuba, filtered through the raw R&B energy of a decade with the Savages, who were constantly exposed to the European twist on Latin and American styles. Those are some of the facts, but there may be more to the story...
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