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Westchester Jazz Orchestra: Dobbs Ferry, NY, September 29, 2012

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Westchester Jazz OrchestraMaster's SchoolDobbs Ferry, NYSeptember 29, 2012The much-acclaimed Westchester Jazz Orchestra (WJO) opened its 10th season with a program called West Side Stories, based on that brilliant and timeless 1957 Broadway musical by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. In keeping with the WJO's ongoing educational objectives, the concert began with a conversation among four of the evening's arrangers: WJO's artistic director and conductor, pianist Mike Holober, trombonist Pete McGuiness, trumpeter Tony Kadleck, and pianist Alan Broadbent. In a frank and fascinating discussion, they revealed how each faced the challenge of reimagining Bernstein's classic score.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Westchester Jazz Orchestra: Maiden Voyage Suite

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Imagine a painter, sculptor or writer attempting to recreate a masterpiece done by a Picasso, Michelangelo or Shakespeare. The task redefines challenge and chutzpah. While jazz recreations are more common than those in other arts--Clark Terry and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra's marvelous revisit (Americana Music, 2004) of the Miles Davis/Gil Evans' Porgy and Bess (Columbia, 1958), for example--little recreated music has equaled the excellence of its original source material better than the Westchester Jazz Orchestra's Maiden Voyage Suite.In the mid-sixties, pianist Herbie Hancock recruited other members of the Miles Davis Quintet to deliver a concept recording of five ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Westchester Jazz Orchestra: Maiden Voyage Suite

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Maiden Voyage (Blue Note, 1965) was a classic quintet recording from pianist Herbie Hancock, a concept album with the sea as the theme. With a clear view in hindsight, The Westchester Jazz Orchestra's re-imagination of that timeless music with Maiden Voyage Suite seems a natural. The sound of the original had oceanic ebb and flow, from gentle and tidal to turbulent and stormy, and the added harmonics of the multiple brass and reeds enhances this atmospheric.At the time he recorded his classic set, Hancock was in the middle of his tenure with what came to be called “The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Westchester Jazz Orchestra: All In

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The Westchester Jazz Orchestra (WJO) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2002 to promote jazz within Westchester County, New York through jazz education outreach programs and the performance of classic standards and commissioned pieces in a series of concerts. All In is the group's debut album containing a repertoire of several jazz standards and one pop classic. A welcome addition to the big band genre, the album was recently named among the best CDs of 2007 by WBGO's Upbeat radio program and Jazzimprov magazine.

Billed as an all-star big band, the personnel is comprised of world class musicians who reside, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Westchester Jazz Orchestra: All In

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This is the first release from an organization that is now in its fifth year. The Westchester Jazz Orchestra (WJO) is a collective ensemble that consists of well-known jazzmen that live, work or play in this northern suburb of New York City. Many of these members have a significant number of their own albums, and represent working experience with some of the best of today's contemporary jazz big bands.

What is perhaps best about the album is that it consists entirely of jazz standards, save for the closing George Harrison tune, “Here Comes The Sun. Pianist/composer ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Westchester Jazz Orchestra: All In

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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 ...



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