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Ralph Pyl

Sydney All Star
Big Band

Sound Files


"With a style that owes more to Sammy Davis Jr, Vic Damone and Jack Jones than Frank Sinatra, Anthony Warlow pays tribute to the big band sound that backed so many singers in the Hollywood studios of Capitol Records in the mid to late 1950s. Warlow is unique in that he understands the songs he sings - not suprising when you consider his perfect intonation and ability to phrase naturally. And he is in top form on this set of timeless standards superbly showcased by arranger Tommy Tycho, whose writing is one of the reasons why this album will become a landmark in Australian popular music. His charts may bear an uncanny resemblance to the best writing such great arrangers as Nelson Riddle and Billy May, yet by adding that special Tycho touch he makes them his own. He rekindles the sound of a swinging big band, making it as relevant in the 21st century as it was nearly 50 years ago. There's excellent musicianship from the top Sydney jazz and studio musicians, resulting in some of the most exhilirating Australian big band sounds I have heard. I doubt if any Australian big band has been graced by a better trumpet team than that of Ralph Pyl, Paul Panichi, John Hoffman, Warwick Alder and Don Rader. Booted along by the rhythm section and Gordan Rytmeister's explosive drumming, they charge through Lover Come Back to Me, breathing as one as they shout with fire and excitement. And what a rhythm section! Jonatthan Zwartz's big sounding bass, pianist Bill Risby and Rytmeister imaginatively set the scene for the uptempo Charade, in which Warlow strong and confident, holds his own against the the blend of shouting brass and flaming reeds. However, not all the tracks are in this vein. Nobody's Baby is a handsome blending of the sleek and smooth , and The Girl From Ipanema an oasis of quiet beauty featuring Jim Pennell's gently insinuating guitar and soft strings. It is doubtful if any other Australian male singer could have carried this off with such aplomb and excellence. Then again, I doubt if one had ever had better backing".
Kevin Jones ( The Australian Newspaper )

"In one of my books I published a list of great lead trumpet players. The list was compiled from my personal experience plus Joe Urso/Kevin Seeley's book 'The Upper Register'. Despite a disclaimer, I've had many omissions pointed out to me, some well-known, and some local heroes. Every town has its great lead trumpet players, and an inclusive list is impossible, as I've discovered. I'll try to rectify it one player at a time: Ralph Pyl (pronounced 'pile') is a Sydney, Australia trumpet player visiting Toronto with the aforementioned Sinatra show. Add him to the list! Great chops and pitch and consistency and a pleasure to work with. He's playing lead with quite an excellent band on this show, and doing it with aplomb. Down Under, Ralph leads his own band, The Sydney All-Star Big Band. I've just had a listen to their CD and it sounds great! It features Ralph's lead playing and solo work, as well as fine performances and writing from a host of other players, including ex-pat trumpet player Don Rader. You can check out the band at: www.ralphpyl.com Ralph went to school with James Morrison, who often guests with the band. I imagine watching James do what he does so effortlessly would be both inspiring and depressing. Living on an island in the South Pacific and playing great jazz. Sounds like a pretty good life"!
Chase Sanborn ( Canadian Trumpet Player and Jazz Author of "Jazz and Brass Tactics" )

" The All Stars, led by trumpeter Ralph Pyl, with a book based on charts associated with the bands of the late Buddy Rich, Woody Herman and Canada's wonderful Boss Brass is a winner. In full flight it can roar like a lion yet purr like a kitten on a ballad - and it includes some of the best jazz and studio musicians in the country. This is the best Australian big band album I’ve heard".
Kevin Jones ( The Australian Newspaper )

"I have worked in Big Bands with Ralph Pyl since we were kids, his experience in this genre is immense. As a guest with his Big Band on many occasions I'm always impressed with how he gets the most out of the band, his easy going knowledgeable approach really pulls it together".
James Morrison

"In his role as Band Leader during the 1998 - 1999 national tour of "Frank - The Sinatra story in song", Ralph Pyl's extensive knowledge of and great passion for Big Band music, as well as his remarkable ability as a lead player and soloist, made him a major contributor to the success of the show".
Tom Burlinson

"We here at Darling Harbour Authority would like to congratulate Tom Burlinson and the "Sydney All Star Big Band" for delivering a superb evenings entertainment on board the Aquashell on Cockle Bay. The event was an outstanding success and launched our 'Winter Concert Series' 2000 in style. To have your uncannily 'Frank' vocals and the "All Stars" brilliant execution of the 'charts' fill this site with the fabulous music of Sinatra was an unprecedented thrill, which drew constant enthusiastic response from thousands of people sitting around Cockle Bay".
Sal Sharah( Darling Harbour Authority )

"In 1997, I was approached by Sydney's "Star City", Australia's newest most prestigious Casino complex to perform 22 concerts. I was determined to have the hottest and swingin'est band in town. That's exactly what I got. Under the direction of Ralph Pyl the "Sydney All Stars" tore the roof off the place every night, so when I was ready to make my last album "Cash Landing", Ralph and the "All Stars" were the obvious choice. The band brought a depth of passion, dynamics and sheer musical quality to the recording that no other band possibly could. Ralph and I have been working together for over 4 years now and whether it's a festival concert, a night club, television appearance or studio recording, Ralph's blistering solo abilities and machine gun accurate reading skills have become an integral part of the Frank Bennett sound. The guy just loves his work ..... and so do I".
Frank Bennett

"Having featured on many occasion with Ralph's "Sydney All Sar Big Band" and as a top student in the Conservatorium Jazz Program, followed by his impressive years in the top echelon of the professional ranks, Ralph Pyl comes highly recommended as a very experienced player and leader".
Don Burrows

"One of the greatest highlights of my musical career, has been the honor of working with the "Sydney All Star Big Band". Led by the absolutely professional and wonderful Ralph Pyl - The " Sydney All Stars" provide a world class sound, are brilliant readers and are a great bunch of guys as well. It is of great joy to work with this Big Band, they're in a galaxy of their own"!
Rhonda Burchmore

"The Sydney All Star Big Band was assembled by its leader trumpeter Ralph Pyl in 1990 to continue the big band jazz tradition started in Sydney in the late 70's and carried into the 80's by the Northside Big Band. The nucleus of the All Stars came from the ranks of the Northside Big Band. Now the Sydney All Star Big Band contains 15 of the finest jazz and recording musicians on the current Australian jazz scene. Since its inception the band has captured the imagination of jazz fans and big band buffs with its first class soloists, powerful ensemble work and dynamic swinging style. Its performances at major jazz events, including several at the Manly International Jazz Festival, drew much critical acclaim and in particular when associated with international artists like Vanessa Rubin, Buddy Greco, Tom Burlinson, James Morrison, Don Burrows and Andrew Speight. One of the highlights of the band's career was a superb tribute concert in the Sydney Town Hall to the legendary Duke Ellington. It is without doubt this nation's most outstanding professional jazz orchestra. Its leader Ralph Pyl is a thoroughly skilled and totally dedicated professional musician who is highly respected by his peers. Keeping big bands together and active is difficult enough at anytime, but it is significant that the membership of the All Star Band has changed little over the years and indeed its present line up would be hard to better in this country".
John Speight ( International Manly Jazz Festival Co-ordinator )

"Ralph Pyl is an exceptional musician, the fact that he has his own Big Band is a testament to his talent. I have worked with Ralph for over 12 years and have always found him to be dedicated, professional and highly respected by everyone in the industry".
Geoff Harvey ( TCN 9 )

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