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Westchester Jazz Orchestra: All In (2007)

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Westchester Jazz Orchestra: All In How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

All In is a crackling-good big band CD. It's the recording debut of the seventeen-piece Westchester Jazz Orchestra (WJO), which was founded in 2003, and it's a corker. [Note for non-locals: an easy commute to the clubs, stages and studios of New York City, Westchester (County) is home to a growing number of eminent jazz folk, like many in the WJO.]



The band is first-rate, the solos world-class, the arrangements fresh and imaginative. Special favorites include a driving, percussive take on Joe Henderson's "Caribbean Fire Dance and the marvelously witty "(No Longer) in the Mood, a sour answer to the old familiar smoothie. Then there's the luscious version of "Naima and a reverent "Peace, with its heart-lifting solo by trumpeter Marvin Stamm. After delightful interpretations of Horace Silver, Wayne Shorter, and Bill Evans, the session ends with Mike Holober's intricate re-imagining of The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun.



This group is so exceptional that it's beginning to reverse the usual commute: instead of suburbanites trekking southward to seek jazz in the Apple, urbanites are venturing north to hear the WJO. For those who are neither, this sparkling CD will show what all the fuss is about.

Track Listing: Caribbean Fire Dance, (No Longer) in the Mood, Peace, Ping Pong, Naima, Room 608, Turn out the Stars, Here Comes the Sun.

Personnel: Jan Brandford: alto and soprano saxophones, flute; David Brandom: also and soprano saxophones, clarinet, flute; Mike Migliore: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Jason Rigby: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Ed Xiques: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Craig Johnson: trumpet and flugelhorn, solos (3, 4, 7); Tony Kadleck: trumpet and flugelhorn, solos (1, 2, 5, 8); Jim Rotondi: trumpet and flugelhorn; Marvin Stamm: trumpet and flugelhorn, solo (6); Larry Dean Farrell: trombone; George Flynn (bass trombone); Keith OQuinn: trombone; Ted Rosenthal: trombone; Harvie S: bass; Tony Jefferson: drums; Rogerio Boccato: percussion (1); Mike Holober: artistic director, conductor.

Record Label: WJO

Style: Big Band


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