Rich Wetzel and his Groovin Higher Jazz Orchestra: Live at Jazzbones (2002)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Jazz and Blues come in all hues. The basic sounds of jazz and blues that we have been weaned on are so enduring, so indestructible, they show up in rock, country, pop, Dixieland, every idiom from Afro-Cuban to Zydeco...from hip-hop to be-bop. They also form the basis of much of the big band swing heard on a new, double disc, "Live At Jazz Bones," featuring the Groovin' Higher Jazz Orchestra.
Its leader, trumpeter Rich Wetzel, has gathered, with missionary zeal, arrangements from the libraries of the golden age of big bands such as Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Count Basie, Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, etc. He has also gathered some of the Northwest's finest readers and most exciting soloists who share his enthusiasm for putting today's update on the best of yesterday's output.
It would be unfair to single out the many soloists who love to stretch out because space limitations simply cannot accommodate all their contributions. Besides, most of the excitement engendered by the big bands emanates from the massed sonorities, the sectional work...in short, the intricate writing of those unsung heroes the big band arrangers.
This session was recorded a short time ago at Jazz Bones a Tacoma venue that shows an understanding of the eclectic qualities of jazz and blues and every genre that falls in between. I hope your tastes and curiosity can match Jazz Bone's. The two discs can be bought for the price of one. There are many memorable sounds contained therein. Give a listen guaranteed you'll be groovin' ever higher.
Track Listing: Disc 1
Personnel: Rich Wetzel, producer, leader, lead trumpet; Lance Buller, Bobby Medina, David Lee, Parrish Sellers, Ken Peters, trumpet; Cliff Colon, Matt Townsend, alto sax; Teddy Dortch, Johnny Lewis, tenor sax; Brooke Farnsworth, baritone sax; Byron Weigel, Lee Dreisbach, Gerald Anderson, Drew Hall, trombone; Jim Mall, piano; Andy Morgan, guitar; Dave Shriver, bass; Dale Drenner, drums. Special guests Tom Pell (14
Style: Big Band