ARTIST: Masanori Sasaji & L.A. Allstars

MASANORI SASAJI (keyboards) JERRY HEY (conductor)
Joseph Williams (vocal) on 7, 8
Peter Erskine (drums)
Dave Carpenter (wood bass) on 1, 2, 3, 6, 9
Jimmy Johnson (electric bass) on 4, 5, 7, 8,10
Paul Jackson,Jr. (electric guitar) on 4, 5, 7, 8,10
Lenny Castro (percussion) except 1, 9
Gary Grant (trumpet)
Wayner Bergeron (trumpet)
Larry Hall (trumpet)
Warren Luening (trumpet) on 1, 2, 3, 6, 9
Ron Stoudt (trumpet) on 4, 5, 7, 8,10
Charlie Loper (trombone)
Andy Martin (trombone)
Reggie Young (trombone)
Bill Reichenbach (trombone)
Dan Higgins (saxophone)
Larry Williams (saxophone)
Brandon Fields (saxophone)
Kim Hutchcroft (saxophone)
Pete Christlieb (saxophone)

Recorded Live at Capitol Studio A-B on September 25th & 26th, 2002
Recording & Mixing Engineers : Yoshihiro Suzuki, Takashi Sasaki
Assistant Engineer : Hideyasu Hatagoshi
Capitol Studio Engineers : Charlie Paakkari, Mike Glines, Wil Donovan
PA Sound Engineer : Kurt “Grumpy” Wolf (LA Sound Co.)
all songs conducted by JERRY HEY
all songs arranged by MASANORI SASAJI
Co-Producer : Hiroya Tsubaki (SME SACD project)
Recording Coordination (Los Angeles) : Akira Yada (AFP Inc.)
Executive Producer : Yasohachi “88” Itoh (SME SACD project)

Mastered at Sony Music Studios Tokyo
Mastering Engineer : Mitsuyasu Abe


This album re-teams Masanori Sasaji (as arranger) and Jerry Hey (as conductor) as a follow up to their acclaimed Birdland album (also available on 441 Records). They assembled the best L.A. studio musicians for the proceedings. While they reside in Los Angeles and are first-call musicians, yet calling them the “L.A. Allstars” is an understatement. A second project to play with the same musicians provides an opportunity to improve upon the first project.

Sasaji had three items that he wanted to do better. First, he wanted to include all instruments in the melodic lines. Secondly, he wanted to bring more uniformity to the selection of songs of the album. The first album placed more emphasis on the coloring of songs. Thirdly, in his arrangements, he wanted to make more conscious decisions about which instrument to feature in solos
that better match the songs.

Even though the album was recorded at Capitol Studios, it was done in front of a live audience, giving it the energy and feel of a live performance with the quality of a studio recording.The arrangements remained true and respectful of the originals, at the same time adding contemporary touches. Sasaji tried to continue the jazz tradition by updating the sound of a big band, not just reproducing what was heard in the ‘40s and ’50s. The recording truly reflects the dynamism of first-rate musicians performing live recorded by first-rate engineers using state-of-the-art digital technology.
Digital meets organic perfectly in this recording.

(click thumbnail for larger image)