Roberta on the Arts
Bob Merrill: Catch as Catch Can
Contact Roberta
Jazz and Cabaret Corner
On Location with Roberta
In the Galleries: Artists and Photographers
Backstage with the Playwrights and Filmmakers
Classical and Cultural Connections
New CDs
Arts and Education
Upcoming Events
Special Events
Memorable Misadventures
Our Sponsors

Bob Merrill: Catch as Catch Can

- CD Reviews

Bob Merrill

Catch as Catch Can
Boomerang Records
(Merrill CD Order Page)

Featuring: Harry Allen - Tenor Sax; Joe Cohn - Guitar; Larry Ham - Piano (3, 8); Jeremy Kahn - Piano; Dennis Irwin - Bass (3, 8, 10); John Burr - Bass (4-7, 9, 11); Duffy Jackson - Drums.

The Big Band: Trumpets - Jim Hynes, Chris Botti, Spencer Macliesh; Trombones - Bruce Eldem, Dave Paniki; Saxophones - Chuck Clark, Harry Allen, Carol Chaiken, Jim Hartog, Haze Greenfield; Bass - Mark Minkler.

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 11, 2005

This is a hot swing CD (1997) of well-known ballads for listening, dancing, and overall elevation of mood. New York-based Bob Merrill doubles on trumpet and vocals with a smooth, sexy sound. Merrill hired a Big Band to give this CD the dance genre quality. Joe Cohn, on scintillating guitar, adds the quintessential ruffle and romance.

Notable tracks:

#3 – It Could Happen to You – Composed by Burke and Van Heusen. Bob Merrill leads this romantic song on vocals, with Larry Ham on piano, Dennis Irwin on bass, and Harry Allen on muted sax, in a midnight, moonlight interpretation. The dance here is foxtrot with easy, effortless rhythms, thanks to Duffy Jackson on brushes on drums.

#5 – Catch as Catch Can – Composed by Bob Merrill. This title song, composed by Merrill, opens with brushes and brass, and there seems to be a trumpet/sax duet. This long, slow swing dance brings in sax and piano in a soft duo, as Harry Allen and Jeremy Kahn pick up the rhythm, assisted by John Burr on bass.

#10 – Secret Love – Composed by Fain and Webster. Arranged by Harry Allen. (See Harry Allen at Zuni). This renowned and heady tune has a traditional, tight swing rhythm with Bob Merrill’s trumpet tempos, in tiny, rippling blasts. As the rhythm is kicked up a notch, Harry Allen enters for a melodic riff.

#11 – Stompin’ at the Savoy – Composed by Goodman, Webb, and Sampson. A full brass band leads a conversation on the main theme, punctuated by bursts of Jeremy Kahn’s piano chords. Bob Merrill takes off with a piano-trumpet duet, as the percussion backs a vibrant beat, followed by saxophone theme twisting for maximum effect.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at