62

The Whitworth College Jazz Ensemble: 2004

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
When a jazz ensemble at a relatively small college sounds as sharp as this one, you know the director is making the right moves. Three cheers to Dan Keberle, the guiding force behind the Whitworth College ensemble from Spokane, WA, and a big hand for the ensemble itself, which takes Keberle's cues and translates them into big band jazz of the highest quality.

Keberle's kids (in one case, literally) recorded this album in April 2004, two months after earning a blue ribbon at the annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, their fifth in eight years. They're certainly in blue-ribbon form here, playing with the sort of command and composure that belies their comparative youthfulness. The ten instrumental tracks complement a pair of nondescript vocals by Keberle's daughter Jessica ("You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To,"? "This Can't Be Love"?). Sorry to have to say that—I'm sure dad won't be pleased to hear it—but integrity demands an honest appraisal.

Everything else is Grade A, with special praise for guitarist Mike Frederick, who solos marvelously on "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise,"? "My Shining Hour,"? "You Don't Know What Love Is"? and "Limehouse Blues,"? sounding at times like a cross between Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery. Tenor Nick Timoshuk is splendid on his feature, "You've Changed,"? and there are agreeable solos elsewhere by trumpeters Brendan O'Melveny, Josh Shelton and Eric Nielsen; alto/soprano Chris Parkin, baritone Claire Thames, trombonists Peter Hatch and Crystal Hayes, pianist Eric Hjelt and drummer David Sloan.

The album includes two originals, Keberle's "Down Under"? and Bret Zvacek's "It Might Be You."? The rest is from the Great American Songbook, with heavy-duty charts by Keberle, Matt Harris, Quincy Jones, Mark Taylor, Tom Matta, Rob Tapper, Tom Molter and Ryan Keberle, none of which pose any problems for Keberle's strapping crew. A blue-chip recording by an impressive ensemble that is worthy of every award it earns.

Track Listing: Softly as in a Morning Sunrise; Moanin

Personnel: Dan Keberle, director; Kevin Swisher, Brendan O

Year Released: 2004 | Style: Big Band


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read Neko CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2017
Read Alcanza CD/LP/Track Review Alcanza
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 25, 2017
Read New Life CD/LP/Track Review New Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 25, 2017
Read A Social Call CD/LP/Track Review A Social Call
by James Nadal
Published: May 25, 2017
Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read "Accortet" CD/LP/Track Review Accortet
by John Sharpe
Published: May 25, 2016
Read "windS" CD/LP/Track Review windS
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 31, 2016
Read "Day By Day" CD/LP/Track Review Day By Day
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987" CD/LP/Track Review Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987
by John Kelman
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Hybrido" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrido
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Overseas V" CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Troy Collins
Published: March 30, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!