THE ROYAL KRUNK JAZZ ORCHESTRA is the creation of jazz trumpeter RUSSELL GUNN. The double Grammy nominee has long harboured an ambition to breathe new life into the tradition of proper, “big” jazz bands and after a deal of effort his dream is realised with the release of the 9 track album ‘Get It How You Live’ from his 19 piece Royal Krunk Jazz Orchestra.
The long player was recorded after the band had enjoyed a weekly residency at Atlanta’s St James Live venue and the LP’s set list is a mix of originals and surprising covers. Noteworthy amongst the new material is the hard hitting ‘Sybil’s Blues’ which is a vehicle for trumpeter Theo Croker, ‘The Critic’s Song’ which spotlights sax man Brain Hogass and ‘Lynne’s’ Joint’ which features Melvin Jones’ trumpet.
Amongst the covers, you maybe surprised by the version of Shai’s ‘If I Ever Fall In Love’. Gunn calls his treatment “acapella trumpet”. The sorely neglected Dianne Farris features on her own song, the gorgeous ‘Hopeless’ and she’s at the mic too for the undoubted album highlight – a magnificent take on ‘The Ballad Of The Sad Young Men’
The garlanded Gunn considers this album and the band his greatest achievement to date. He knows that there is huge responsibility in keeping alive the tradition of Basie, Ellington et al but we’re confident that those jazz maestros would surely approve.
THE ROYAL KRUNK JAZZ ORCHESTRA; ‘Get It How You Live’ is out now on Ropeadope Records.