“Madrid-based sextet Racalmuto has released a self-titled CD containing six Raymond Scott Quintette tunes: “Powerhouse,” “The Penguin,” “Happy Farmer,” “Moment Musical,” “Steeplechase,” and “Square Dance for Eight Egyptian Mummies”. The Scott evocations are joyous and brash, mixing nicely with the band’s originals and nuggets by Stuff Smith and Charlie Shavers. The Scott covers sizzle with élan. In paying homage to the RSQ tradition, Racalmuto adds inventive touches that surprise and impress. But don’t overlook their composer chops: pianist Pascual Piqueras’s “¿Quién Quiere un Tornado?” evokes elegant 1930s modernism and classic cartoon jazz (an equally apt description of the original RSQ); and clarinetist Marco Cresci’s “Ataque de Celos en Zakopane” conjures a swing-era outer space fantasy.” – Irwin Chusid, director of the Raymond Scott Archives.

Miguel Malla is a New York-based saxophonist and composer of Spanish origin. In 2002, he created the Racalmuto sextet – a project dedicated to the recreation of the music by composers Raymond Scott and John Kirby, with a growing number of original pieces and arrangements by some members of the band. In their original compositions, Racalmuto has sought to absorb influences from Scott’s and Kirby’s music and recreate a wonderful music that seems almost to be forgotten these days. They love intricate and challenging music as much as we love to communicate with an audience, any kind of audience, and they believe in bringing to the “common” listener music that is not prefabricated and heartless. 

Featured Image Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Artist