Set for official release on October 7, 2022, Rich Willey — Puttin’ On The Ritz is a two-record set, approximately 74 total minutes of music designed for your listening pleasure and even for your dancing enjoyment. Centered around several four-horn arrangements by Rich written for a New Year’s party themed Puttin’ On The Ritz, the collection of music is mostly fresh arrangements of great old songs written about the same time as the title song, the timeless Irving Berlin classic.
The LP is configured just like “back in the good ol’ days” when each side was its own musical journey. This double album has four mini-concerts that’ll make you glad to be one of the select few who still listen to music on vinyl. The sound of these LPs is amazingly crisp — you feel like you’re right there in the performance hall!
No two selections on this album are quite alike, so we’ll just let you audition the title track (Puttin’ On The Ritz) here:
There are eleven tunes on this release.
Puttin’ On The Ritz (by Irving Berlin) arr. by Rich Willey 4:35
My Melancholy Baby (by George Norton/Ernie Burnett) arr. by Rich Willey, strings arr. by Carey Deadman 5:30
I’ll Be Seeing You (by Irving Kahal/Sammy Fain) arr. by Rich Willey, strings arr. by Carey Deadman 5:34
If I Should Lose You (by Leo Robin/Ralph Rainger) arr. by Rich Willey, strings arr. by Carey Deadman 5:56
Sweet Lorraine (by Cliff Burwell/Mitchell Parish) arr. by Rich Willey, strings arr. by Carey Deadman 6:31
Poor Butterfly (by John Golden/Raymond Hubbell) arr. by Rich Willey, strings arr. by Carey Deadman 7:04
Hard Hearted Hannah (by Yellen/Ager/Bigelow/Bates) arr. by Rich Willey, strings arr. by Carey Deadman 5:42
Song For Janet (by Rich Willey) arr. by Rich Willey, strings arr. by Carey Deadman 7:44
Uncle Remus (by Frank Zappa/George Duke) arr. by Rich Willey 7:30
Holy Trinity (by Rich Willey) arranged by Wally Minko and Rich Willey, strings arr. by Carey Deadman 10:45
But For The Grace Of God (by Rich Willey) arranged by Mike Abene and Rich Willey 6:09
All selections: Ⓒ & Ⓟ Boptism Music 2022, BMI
Recorded at Crystall Recorders, Lombard, IL, and Palisade Studios, Chicago, IL — Jim Massoth, engineer
Mixed by Jim Massoth, Carey Deadman and Rich Willey
Produced by Carey Deadman
Immense gratitude for all the musicians who played on these tracks!
Poor Butterfly, If I Should Lose You, My Melancholy Baby, Sweet Lorraine, and Hard Hearted Hannah:
Paul Mutzabaugh, piano ◊ Larry Kohut, bass ◊ George Fludas, drums ◊ Rich Willey on all trumpet and bass trumpet parts, (EVI solo on Poor Butterfly) and vocal on Hard Hearted Hannah
Song For Janet: same personnel as above except Jim Massoth plays tenor sax in the ensemble sections
I’ll Be Seeing You: Jeremy Kahn, piano ◊ Larry Kohut, bass ◊ George Fludas, drums ◊ Rich Willey on all trumpet and bass trumpet parts, EVI solo
Vance Okraszewski, Latin percussion on Poor Butterfly
Strings on the above conducted by Shawn Stengel: Michèle Lekas (concertmaster), Bernardo Arias, Sam Battista, Whun Kim, Mark Lekas, Kerena Moeller, Emily Nash, Kjersti Nostbakken, Eric Pidluski, Christopher Pollen, Irene Radetsky, Ryan Rump, Bruno Silva, Rebecca Swan, Clara Takarabe, Emi Tanabe, Azusa Tashiro, Kristen Wiersum, Bonnie Yeager
Puttin’ On The Ritz and Uncle Remus: Paul Mutzabaugh, piano/Hammond B3 ◊ Mike Pinto, guitar ◊ Larry Kohut, bass ◊ Neal Wehman, drums ◊ Rich Willey on all trumpet and bass trumpet parts
Paul Mutzabaugh also plays synth bass on the funk portions of Puttin’ On The Ritz and the piano solo on But For The Grace Of God
Holy Trinity: David Mann, soprano sax solo ◊ Tom Evans, soprano sax and flute ◊ John Swana, EVI solo (electronic valve instrument) ◊ Rich Willey, trumpet/bass trumpet/EVI/tuba ◊ Carey Deadman, high trumpet notes at end ◊ Wally Minko, Rhodes piano ◊ Andrew Synowiec, guitar ◊ Matt Bissonette, bass ◊ Gregg Bissonette, drums
But For The Grace Of God: Zeke Listenbee, vocal ◊ Rich Willey, bass trumpet/tuba ◊ Saxophones: Dan Higgins, Brian Scanlon, Bob Sheppard, Sal Lozano, Jay Mason ◊ Trumpets: Wayne Bergeron, Dan Fornero, Rob Schaer, Tony Bonsera ◊ Trombones: Alex Iles, Andy Martin, Steve Holtman, Bill Reichenbach ◊ Rhythm Section: Wally Minko (keyboards), Andrew Synowiec (guitars), Edwin Livingston (bass), Peter Erskine (drums), Joey De Leon (percussion) ◊ Violin: Songa Lee (concert master), Josefina Vergara, Benjamin Jacobson, Natalie Leggett, Marisa Kuney, Jennifer Choi Fischer, Mark Robertson, Maya Magub, Joel Pargman, Sara Parkins, Eun Mee Ahn, Nina Evtuhov, Daphne Chen, Amy Hershberger, Tamara Hatwan, Michele Richards, Carrie Kennedy, Armen Anassian, Ji Young An, Lorand Lokuszta, Neel Hammond, Lucia Micarelli ◊ Viola: Andrew Duckles, Eric Rynearson, Alma Fernandez, Karen Elaine, Carolyn Riley, Victor de Almeida ◊ Cello: Jacob Braun, Vanessa Freebairn-Smith, Cecilia Tsan, Dennis Karmazyn ◊ Bass: David Stone, Trey Henry ◊ French Horn: Dylan Hart, Danielle Ondarza, Jeremiah Frederick, Sharon Jones
Engineered by Tommy Viccari and Mike Aarvold ◊ Mixed by Jim Massoth, Carey Deadman and Rich Willey
◊ Marty Tilton, music copyist ◊ Brian Schwab, wizard of mastering ◊ Caricature by Chris Kemp
All selections: Ⓒ & Ⓟ Boptism Music 2022, BMI