Any time a big band in this country marks its tenth anniversary (or even its first), it’s a cause for celebration -- which is exactly what the Empire Jazz Orchestra did last October, taping much of the music on its third album during a gala decade concert at its home base, Schenectady (NY) Community College.
As is its custom, the EJO spans eras and canvasses styles from swing to bop, standard to contemporary with historic charts by Don Redman, Dizzy Gillespie / Gil Fuller, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Gil Evans, Charles Mingus and Bill Holman reinforcing cutting-edge ...read more
The Empire Jazz Orchestra, founded in 1992, is a professional Jazz repertory ensemble in residence at Schenectady County (NY) Community College. These high-powered albums, the first featuring guest artist Mark Vinci on alto saxophone, the second embracing appearances by tenor saxophonist Leo Russo and poll-winning baritone Nick Brignola, were recorded in 1999 during concerts spaced roughly six months apart (the first in April, the second in October). As the EJO specializes in performing original scores by important composers and arrangers, Plays Ellington, recorded to mark that peerless composer's centenary, consists of ten of his compositions / arrangements from 1928 ("The ...read more
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