Life In the Bubble
Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Years of Therapy
Does This Chart Make Me Look Phat?
On Green Dolphin Street
Party Rockers (feat. Judith Hill)
Nothing packs a wallop quite like a well-rehearsed big band—and bandleader, arranger, and saxophonist/pianist Gordon Goodwin heads up one of the best around. Life in the Bubble, The Big Phat Band’s sixth album, does nothing to dispute this accolade. Featuring seven originals by Goodwin, the songs are crisp, clever, and even a bit cacophonous (in a good way). The funky title track, with its angular horn arrangement, will never be mistaken for something from the swing era, and “Why Can’t We Have Nice Things” has a percolating Latin edge to the rhythm and several fine solos. Elsewhere, the suite-like “Years of Therapy” finds the band dabbling in classical much like Raymond Scott would, before shifting to a snappy swing rhythm with fine trumpet work by Wayne Bergeron throughout. The fun cover of the Get Smart theme song is a gem, while a peppy version of the standard “On Green Dolphin Street” is short and sweet. The album closes with “Party Rockers,” featuring soulful singer Judith Hill.