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Dalton Gang by Zan Stewart, Star-Ledger Staff Tuesday November 20, 2007, 5:21 PM

"Willy Dalton, New Jersey's jazz-meets-blues-meets-pop-and-funk guitarist, arranger and composer, knows how to make music fun while maintaining artistic vigor. His 10-piece Dalton Gang -- which usually includes such aces as trumpeter Vinnie Cutro, tenorman Frank Elmo, alto saxophonist Mark Friedman and drummer Vince Cherico -- demonstrates his prowess. The band lays into anything from a mambo-esque version of "New York State of Mind" to his own slow and funky "Last Year's Waltz" to Monk's bubbling "Bye-Ya" with zest and musicality. The Gang, whose latest CD is "Last Year's Waltz" (Second Step Music), plays its annual pre-Thanksgiving party tomorrow night from 7:30 to 11:30 at Trumpets Jazz Club, 6 Depot Square, Montclair. $10 music charge, $5 minimum. Call (973) 744-2600 "

Read Mark Ruffin of NPR's "Listen Here" on the new Dalton Gang CD, "Last Year's Waltz"--click here to read the pdf

Here are some reviews of the earlier Dalton Gang CD's:

"Just for Tonight is an excellent album and makes the listener long to hear more.The group is one of the most unique ensembles in jazz and is equally at home in Latin music and Tower of Power-style funk."--William Grim, All Music Guide

"The ten-piece Dalton Gang packs a steady brass punch pumped by the beats of funk, Latin, blues and New Orleans styles topped by shards of syncopated bop. These 12 tracks are delivered with well-honed precision"--Jazz Times

"Although most of the members play their trade professionally with other prestigious outfits, when they come together under the leadership of guitarist Willy Dalton, a certain individual magic occurs. The groove is undeniable, the horn arrangements tight and tasty, and melodies distinctive"--Music Paper

...Every once in a while, amid the usual morass of less imaginative smooth jazz releases, an indie project comes out of nowhere with the power to capture various places in the imagination and retain a stronghold of hope there. The winner of the originality prize this month is the Dalton Gang, whose swinging brass craziness infuses Miami Shadows with more pep than should be legal. The Gang might be a little intimidating for typical NAC radio, which is all the more reason to love it."-- Jazziz

"Regular gigging in the New York metropolitan area has broadened the range of this quick-draw funk-jazz aggregate. This 10-piece unit plays brisk, snappy, catchy jazz with the precision of a small combo and the power of a big band."--CMJ

"This little-known release is worth investigating"-- Scott Yanow, L.A. Jazz Scene

"The Dalton Gang is a band that would have been at home in the '30's and '60's, as well as the '90's. Driven by a five-piece rhythm section and five horns, it can swing and jump the blues, the way they did in Kansas City in the '30's, and a rhythm 'n blues soul twist--'60's Memphis style--or rock out in extended jams."--George Kanzler, The Star-Ledger