Set 2 opened with Oliver Nelson's dramatic "Emancipation Blues" and continued with a couple of tunes by Quincy Jones, "Muttnik" and "Quintessence" (the last a showcase for Kostur's nimble alto). The orchestra chugged its way through Willie Maiden's "A Little Minor Booze" before lowering the curtain with the same incandescent chart that had opened the alumni tribute on Sunday, Cole Porter's "Love for Sale," from what is arguably the Rich band's finest album, Big Swing Face. Besides Kostur and Reid, the evening's stellar soloists included Finberg, Ahrend, Buckholz, trumpeters Kent Erickson and Henry Estrada, tenor Lee Taylor, baritone Chad Adams and the AJO's newest member, guitarist (and longtime L.A. studio standout) Michael Anthony
. Ahrend, Anthony, bassist Colin Deuble and drummer Paul Palmer III comprised the razor-sharp rhythm section. Another memorable concert.
More About Michael Anthony
Speaking of Michael Anthony, the guitarist received the Eric Larson Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th annual New Mexico Music Awards banquet May 31 at the Sandia Resort and Casino. Anthony's newest album with his First Take Trio, Recollections, is dedicated to his friend and mentor, guitarist Howard Roberts.
The AJO, which by the way now has a regular gig on the first Tuesday of every month at The Cooperage, returns to action June 21 (Swing Night) as part of the Jazz Workshop's annual Jazz, Salsa & Blues Under the Stars series at the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheatre, and again on July 12 with Mariano Morales & Picante. Other jazz groups taking part in the series include the Michael Anthony Trio, the Pat Malone Quartet and Arnaldo Acosta Quintet, the last two with special guest saxophonist Doug Lawrence
From July 11-27, The Outpost Performance Space, the Lensic Performing Arts Center and the Santa Fe Jazz Foundation are co-sponsoring the ninth annual New Mexico Jazz Festival in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Among the headliners: drummer Jack DeJohnette
Once upon a time, when this column appeared on a regular basis, it was closed with a list of ten or twelve newly released big-band jazz CDs of interest. To carry on the tradition, here in no special order are twenty albums reviewed during recent months that I would recommend for your listening pleasure.
Doc Stewart Big Band Resuscitation, Code Blue! (Cannonball Records) Chris McDonald Jazz Orchestra, No Pews Required (Constant Dreamer Records) King William Jazz Collective, Untitled (Self Produced) Orrin Evans' Captain Black Big Band, Mother's Touch (Posi-Tone Records) Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, The L.A. Treasures Project (Capri Records) Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra, Strength in Numbers (Summit Records) Dave Slonaker Big Band, Intrada (Origin Records) John La Barbera Big Band, Caravan (Jazz Compass) Swiss Jazz Orchestra, Live at Jazzfestival Bern (Mons) Stan Kenton Alumni Band, Road Scholars (Summit Records)
Joe Sullivan Big Band, Northern Ontario Suite (Perry Lake Records) University of Toronto 12TET, Rebirth (UofT Jazz) UNT Two O'Clock Lab Band, Kind of Two (UNT Jazz) Nova Jazz Orchestra, Concerto Nova (Nova Jazz) Phil Woods & The Festival Orchestra, New Celebration (Chiaroscuro Records) UNT One O'Clock Lab Band, Lab 2013 (UNT Jazz) Stan Kenton, Road Shows (Tantara) Jim Widner Big Band, And the Beat Goes On (Chase Music Group) Fatum Brothers Jazz Orchestra, Live in Chicago (Self Produced) DePaul University Jazz Ensemble, Salutes Woody Herman (Jazzed Media)
That's it for now. Until next time (let's hope there is a next time), keep swingin' . . . !