Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders are a hard swinging and stylistically faithful ensemble created in the mold of the late 1930’s, early 1940’s dance band.
Their sound is characterized by an aggressive four-on-the-floor time-feel, thick & riffy horn arrangements, and an eclectic songbook that touches on the sweet and sentimental as well as the hot and bothered. The band plays in various configurations, and each version of the group explores different avenues of the classic repertoire.
The Sextet specializes in careful transcriptions and subtle adaptations of The Benny Goodman Sextet, with thoughtful forays into the small combos Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Artie Shaw. The many famous sidemen and alumni of those various bands are given plenty of love as well. With Laura Windley featured on vocals, the band also explores the wonderful songbook left behind by Billie Holiday during her years with Brunswick, where she and Teddy Wilson pulled together some of the hardest swinging players to bring to life some of the greatest pop tunes ever written.
The Octet performs arrangements that were popularized not by the large orchestras or small combos, but the many medium-sized outfits that worked during the time such as those led by Fletcher Henderson, the Coleman Hawkins All Stars, various Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton side groups, the Dickie Wells and Willie Bryant orchestras, and more. They dig up material that will be instantly familiar to vintage music aficionados and swing dancers even if it never made it to the Greatest Hits compilations of the day.
With the Rhythm Serenaders Orchestra, Gamble takes the core principles of his small group leading into a 13pc big band. This group will, in part, serve as a vehicle for the Heritage Sounds transcription project, so you can expect to hear generous helpings of Chick Webb and Jimmie Lunceford’s music — but also repertoire featured exclusively by this group, honoring arrangements previously performed by Tommy Dorsey, Erskine Hawkins, Larry Clinton, Al Cooper and the Savoy Sultans, and a generous homage to the one and only Count Basie.
Bandleader Michael Gamble’s 15+ years of work in every aspect of the global swing dance community informs the band’s repertoire and taste. The music will carry a dance floor all night long, but is just as comfortable in listening rooms, or even setting a classy tone for a private event. Michael Gamble and his Rhythm Serenaders pursue one mission in any setting: to share the joy and infectious energy of mid-20th century American Jazz!