The BBB featuring Bernie Dresel - Live 'n Bernin' (Live)


Reber Productions



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Total download size: 4.1 GB Total play length: 1:08:46
Cover art included, liner notes not included

Album Notes
Bernie Dresel’s jazz orchestra, The BBB, is without question one of Los Angeles’ most exciting large jazz ensembles, if not on the planet. It is one of the most innovative and original hard-swinging large jazz ensembles ever. The BBB provides potent testimony to the sheer exhilaration of big band jazz...a combination of intense swing and fiery soloing, as well as tight ensemble playing, powered by Bernie Dresel’s extraordinary drumming talents.

The BBB is comprised of 16 seasoned pros on the Los Angeles studio scene. Populated by LA’s finest players, The BBB delivers a contemporary, highly original sound featuring the witty, intricate, and hard-swinging compositions of established and up-and-coming composers and arrangers. And like those other famous jazz orchestras such as Buddy Rich’s, Count Basie’s, Woody Herman’s, Stan Kenton’s, Maynard Ferguson’s, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis’ and Gerald Wilson’s, the music and delivery of The BBB’s music is nothing less than astonishing when experienced live. The sound has a contemporary, dynamic, and hard-swinging energy, with a focused edge to it that is like no other jazz orchestra, though, reminiscent of Buddy Rich’s ensembles. The instrumental makeup is unique in that there is no piano but jazz/rockin’ electric guitar instead, in addition to four trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones, and upright acoustic slap bass and drums. When people hear Bernie’s BBB, the first thing that hits them is its energy and intensity.

At the helm of The BBB is jazz drummer extraordinaire Bernie Dresel. Bernie is the first-call drummer and percussionist on the Hollywood stage for motion picture and television soundtracks. Count Basie, Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Tower Of Power, among many other established and new jazz orchestra composers and arrangers, fill the book for the music his band makes today. And like those other bands, Dresel’s rendering style is nothing less than exciting, driven by one of the most accomplished jazz drummers in the world.

Established in 2014, The BBB plays monthly at jazz clubs in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Prior to forming his own jazz orchestra, Bernie backed Maynard Ferguson, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. Bernie served 15 years for both Setzer and Goodwin. He has been the drummer on numerous Brian Setzer Grammy Award®-winning recordings and more recently on every recording that Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band has released, including the Grammy Award winners.

Bernie’s credits with respect to motion picture and television soundtracks represent “A” movie projects and such television work as The Simpsons and Family Guy. (See full credits on The BBB Web site at

Bernie's Notes On The Tunes

1. Straight, No Chaser 5:07
(Thelonious Monk: Composer)
Thelonious Monk Corp. –– BMI

Andrew Neu: Arranger

Bernie Dresel: drums
Carl Saunders: trumpet
Brian Scanlon: alto saxophone
Ryan Dragon: trombone

After KJAZZ’s Bubba Jackson gives a rousing introduction, the live set opens with a very familiar Thelonious Monk tune arranged by Philly native Andrew Neu, who you may have heard playing saxophone all over the world with Bobby Caldwell and Diane Schuur, along with a slew of smooth jazz greats. Many of his great charts are with Kendor Publishing and this should be one of them soon if it isn’t already!

2. Five Spot 3:23
(Walter Murphy: Composer)
Smoosh Whirled Music –– GMR

Walter Murphy: Arranger

Kirsten Edkins: tenor saxophone
Andrew Synowiec: electric guitar

Continuing in the “two spot” is this brand new tune and arrangement by Oscar® Nominated and Emmy Award®-winning Walter Murphy. Although he has written soundtracks for numerous films and TV shows, I’m sure you know all about his successful and long-running partnership with Seth MacFarlane working on Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, Ted, and Ted 2.

3. On The Sunny Side Of The Street 5:43
(Jimmy McHugh/Dorothy Fields: Composers)
Shapiro Bernstein & Co. Inc. –– ASCAP / Cotton Club Publishing –– ASCAP

Nan Schwartz: Arranger

Carl Saunders: trumpet
Andrew Synowiec: electric guitar

This wonderful standard, composed by Jimmy McHugh (or was it really Fats Waller?), dates back to 1930, but this time we hear it with a beautiful new arrangement by Nan Schwartz, who is a seven-time Emmy nominee (for a number of television movies and series including In the Heat Of The Night), and a five-time Grammy nominee (winning a coveted Grammy Award® for an arrangement for Natalie Cole). Her father, Willie, played clarinet with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, but this arrangement is for her mother Peggy, who sang this chart-topping hit for Tommy Dorsey.

4. Samba Quente 5:39
(Brian Williams: Composer)
BariBrian Music Productions –– ASCAP

Brian Williams: Arranger

Brian Williams: baritone saxophone
Alan Kaplan: trombone

If you a want to be featured in this band (or maybe any band) write an arrangement that features your instrument! And that’s just what our baritone saxophonist, Brian Williams, did by composing and arranging this “hot” original tune that hopefully takes us (and you) all the way to Brazil…well, at least in spirit!

5. Wiggle Waggle 6:12
(Herbie Hancock: Composer)
Hancock Music –– BMI

Bill Cunliffe: Arranger

Jamie Hovorka: trumpet
John “Spazz” Hatton: upright slap bass

Solo artist and Grammy Award®-winner Bill Cunliffe does a fun arrangement for us of this Herbie Hancock classic as we straighten out the eighth note (AND the sixteenth note) for this version. If you didn’t notice the upright slap bass of Brian Setzer Orchestra member Johnny “Spazz” Hatton earlier during the guitar solo in Five Spot, you can’t miss it here!

6. ’Round Midnight 5:02
(Thelonious Monk/Bernard Hanighen/Cootie Williams: Composers)
Thelonious Monk Music –– BMI / Warner Bros. Inc. (Warner Bros. Music Division) –– ASCAP

Herb Phillips: Arranger

Carl Saunders: trumpet

I guess we like Thelonious Monk so much (we hope you do, too!) that this is the second tune of his we are playing on this live set; this time as a ballad featuring the legendary Carl Saunders on trumpet with an arrangement by his long time pal, Las Vegas staple, Herb Phillips.

7. Bones Akimbo 5:30
(James McMillen: Composer)
Baja Pasadena Publishing –– ASCAP

James McMillen: Arranger

Alan Kaplan: trombone
Ryan Dragon: trombone
James McMillen: trombone
Juliane Gralle: bass trombone

Well, it’s time to feature our trombone section. And guess who composed and arranged it…one of our trombonists in the band, Jim McMillen, who brings his humor and good times to this shuffle with some floor tom thrown in for good measure. And yes, that’s some upright slap bass on this one, too…there will be more later, but that’s the last time it will be mentioned here!

8. The Soulful Mister Timmons 5:28
(James Williams: Composer)
Second Floor Music –– BMI

Jeff Bunnell: Arranger

Andrew Synoweic: electric guitar
Jeff Bunnell: trumpet

Our trumpet player Jeff Bunnell has always had a love for all the great Art Blakey Quintets, and here he brings his arrangement of pianist James Williams' Jazz Messenger tune honoring fellow Blakey alumni pianist, Bobby Timmons. And how about a saxophone soli while we’re at it!

9. Magnificent Seven 3:01
(Elmer Bernstein: Composer)
EMI U Catalog Inc. –– ASCAP

Tim Simonec: Arranger

Brian Scanlon: alto saxophone
Bernie Dresel: drums

Tim Simonec, composer for the movie Whiplash, and orchestrator/conductor for numerous Michael Giacchino film scores, including the Academy Award®-winning score for Up), brings us a fast, and fun arrangement (tremolo guitar always sounds fun to me) of the iconic theme from the 1960 western film by the same moniker originally composed by Elmer Bernstein. (What is it about drummers that want to do songs by a Bernstein!) And on this tune…there IS the sound of flutes!

10. What Would Be 5:25
(Steve Bramson: Composer)
Bramsongs –– ASCAP

Steve Bramson: Arranger

Brian Scanlon: soprano saxophone
Andrew Synowiec: electric guitar

This one is a little bit “moody” and a little bit “funky” and some odd time signatures here and there if you are trying to dance at home. Written and composed by Steve Bramson, Emmy Award®-nominee for the television series JAG, it features the soprano saxophone and the 3”x14” Craviotto popcorn snare drum. And by the way…have you noticed yet that we don’t have a piano in the band?

11. The Spoiler 5:53
(Scott Healy: Composer)
Bluedog Music –– BMI

Scott Healy: Arranger

Andrew Synowiec: electric guitar
Carl Saunders: trumpet
Rob Lockart: tenor saxophone

This is high-spirited, up-tempo, key-changin', bass-slappin’ (ok, I said it again), heavy blowin’ shuffle, composed and arranged by Scott Healy, Conan O’Brian keyboardist since 1993 AND Grammy Award®-nominee, of course. After the horns play this they need a rest…or so I’m told by Alan Kaplan, our lead trombonist...along with our lead trumpeters, Jamie Hovorka and Tony Bonsera…horses, all of them!

12. Crossing The Boulevard 10:20
(Andrew Neu: Composer)
Andrew Neu Music –– BMI

Andrew Neu: Arranger

Andrew Synowiec: electric guitar
Rob Lockart: tenor saxophone
Carl Saunders: trumpet
Bernie Dresel: drums

We conclude this Live 'N Bernin’ set, our first album, with a barn burner (maybe we should call it a barn “Berner”…long drum solo and all). Coming full circle, Track 1 composer/arranger, Andrew Neu, returns for what may be "the best chart in the book”…even though Andrew doesn’t have an Emmy, Oscar, or a Grammy…yet!

The Technical Production

The live performance took place in Burbank, California at Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill, an intimate audience venue The BBB often performs in and whose acoustics are well suited to the project. The BBB performed two one-hour sets of jazz charts, with an initial 30 minutes securing sound checks. The emcee for the evening was Bubba Jackson, renowned KJAZZ 88.1 FM radio personality.

The BBB was captured on Avid ProTools® (34 tracks), from which a Native Auro-3D 9.1-channel master audio soundtrack was derived. The performance was recorded on 34 full-range discrete digital channels with 96-kHz/24-bit resolution using ALL AEA (Audio Engineering Associates) large-ribbon microphones fed to an API mixing console with ATI 8MX2 audiophile microphone preamps, using the large MU3 Studio On Wheels remote recording truck to capture the tracks on ProTools and monitor the recording.

The AEA microphones consisted of five R88 Mk2s (stereo), five R84, nine NUVO N8, and nine NUVO N22. (See the Auro-3D Immersive Sound Mix Diagram.) AEA microphones feature the company’s Big Ribbon™ technology and are renowned for their warm, even sound with a wonderfully smooth top end and deep bass extension. Rooted in the RCA microphone tradition, all AEA microphones are designed to offer a fresh approach to the ribbon transducer and represent founder Wes Dooley’s take on the evolution of the ribbon microphone.

Our primary overall orchestra microphone was the R88 Mk2, essentially a pure ribbon stereo version of AEA’s famed R84. Each 2.35- x 0.185-inch element is a corrugated native pressure-gradient ribbon transducer that is 1.8-micron thin. The frequency response is 20 Hz to 20 kHz (useable output to 40 kHz) with a maximum SPL of 165 dB above 1 kHz! As with the R84, the sound is big and warm, yet natural and open. Five R88s, wired with Wireworld® Platinum Eclipse™ cable, were used in the recording: primary ear level front and height stereo pickup, ambient surround ear level and height stereo pickup, and overhead drum kit stereo pickup.

The AEA NUVO N8, used for instrument pickup, is perhaps the most open and natural-sounding ribbon microphone ever made. The frequency response is 20 Hz to 20 kHz (useable output to 40 kHz) with a maximum SPL of 141 dB above 1 kHz!
The NUVO N22 features the top-end clarity of a condenser design with a ribbon’s smoothness. Phantom powered and designed for close-up use with minimal proximity effect, the N22 uses a custom German toroidal transformer for 12 dB more gain.
AEA’s R84s, N8s and N22s were all wired with Monster® ProLink® Studio Pro 2000® microphone cables and used on the trombone section and upright slap bass, saxophone section, trumpet section, and the drums and electric guitar, respectively. The electric guitar was wired with Monster Studio Pro 2000 Angled Guitar cable.
The 34-track (26 band and 8 ambient) mix was stored on two Samsung 850 Pro Series SATA III solid-state drives. There was no compression, limiting or EQ applied during recording and mixing.

The live recording mix in the Studio On Wheels remote studio was monitored on a $250,000 multi-award-winning CAT (California Audio Technology) audiophile performance two-channel CAT MBX 900 Trinity loudspeaker system, along with two CAT MBX S8 Miramar 12-inch aluminum subwoofers. A CAT engineering team was on-site to calibrate and tune the CAT MBX loudspeaker system the day of the recording using a CAT MBX 12x12 DSP (digital signal processor). The system was powered at the mixing board by a CAT MBX 300.2 FD amplifier and the revolutionary SAE 2HP-D power amplifier. The SAE (Scientific Audio Electronics) amplifier achieves an industry-leading >128 dB of signal-to-noise ratio and THD of only .001 up to 10 watts and less than .01 at full power. The fully differential, fully balanced, push/pull ultra-high-performance Class A/B SAE 2HP-D amplifier delivers 750 watts (over 1 horsepower) per channel into 8 Ohms and over 2,000 watts of burst power (per channel). The SAE 2HP-D is world renowned for its ultra clean power, speed, accuracy, musicality and quietness. CAT’s world-class stereo audiophile performance has been given top accolades from numerous “A” list recording artists, studio engineers, and critics around the globe.

The CAT/SAE monitoring system was connected with Monster Prolink’s finest cables.

The 96-kHz/24-bit Auro-3D 9.1 and Linear PCM 5.1 and PCM 2.0 master audio tracks were mixed, pre-mastered and mastered at Galaxy Studios in Mol, Belgium (see, renowned worldwide for its leading and state-of-the-art innovation in sound recording and reproduction. It is the home of Auro Technologies and the Auro-3D format (see, which became the first true 3D Immersive Sound audio format with end-to-end solutions for all markets. The mixing was performed by Tonmeister Patrick Lemmens, who recorded and mixed many albums in Auro-3D, as well as many scorings for international movies. The pre-mastering and mastering for the releases was performed by Tom Van Achte at Galaxy Studios. The authoring of the Pure Blu-ray Disc was performed by Stefan Bock at MSM Studio Group in Munich, Germany. The 96-kHz/24-bit stereo master was recorded to a Nagra Seven two-channel digital recorder used for mastering.

Straight, no chaser
Five Spot
On the sunny side of the street
Samba quente
Wiggle waggle
'Round Midnight
Bones akimbo
The soulful Mister Timmons
Magnificent seven
What would be
The spoiler
Crossing the boulevard

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