Orchestra, the New York big band founded in 1966, loved to tour Japan resulting in its popular 1974 release of Live In Tokyo (Denon). Continuing the tradition of playing Monday nights at New York's Village Vanguard, as well as performing in Japan, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestraas the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra has been known for decadespresents Forever LastingLive In Tokyo a double-CD set capturing a recent live recording in Tokyo. Led by trombonist and director John Mosca, the band performed six sets and 38 charts during a three-night stint at the Billboard Live Tokyo club, just three months before the March, 2011 earthquake tragedy.
Mosca whittled the repertoire for this recording to down to thirteen pieces, across the two discs, with some personnel changes made due to prior engagements. Tenor saxophonist Rich Perry
There are quite a few lengthy pieces, with "61st and Rich' It" clocking in at almost fifteen minutes; while "Extra Credit," and "Central Park North" both swing for over twelve minutes, they pale in comparison to the nearly nineteen-minute "Fingers."
's "Nasty Dance" is delivered a bit loosely, with some improvisational phrases that would peg this composition as more free-style than contemporary. The band gets back to playing melodies and harmonic phrases on McNeely's "Hardly Ever," before closing out the second disc with an arrangement of the title track largely unheard in Japan, and featuring great solos from Wendholt on flugelhorn and husky baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan
Feeling a kindred spirit with the musicians, students and fans left behind in the wake of the earthquake tragedy, the band confirmed plans for a return visit. Forever LastingLive In Tokyo documents the roar and swing of a dynamic sixteen-piece jazz orchestra with a history of being on the vanguard of jazzcomfortable at the forefront of the music in New York, and apparently in Tokyo, as well.
Track Listing: Low Down; You Tell Me; 61st and Rich' It; One Finger Snap; I Love You; Extra Credit; Central Park North; All of Me; Don't Ever Leave Me; Nasty Dance; Hardly Ever; Fingers; Forever Lasting.
Personnel: John Mosca: trombone; Luis Bonilla: trombone; Jason Jackson: trombone; Douglas Purviance: bass trombone; Nick Marchione: trumpet, flugelhorn; Tanya Darby: trumpet, flugelhorn; Terell Stafford: trumpet, flugelhorn; Scott Wendholt: trumpet, flugelhorn; Dick Oatts: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Billy Drewes: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, clarinet; Walt Weiskopf: tenor saxophone,flute; Ralph Lalama: tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute; Gary Smulyan: baritone saxophone; Michael Weiss: piano; John Riley: drums; David Wong: bass.