139

The University of North Texas Two O'Clock Jazz Band: A Salute to Benny Carter

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
After more than half a century, the tradition of excellence continues at the University of North Texas in Denton with this splendid new release by the school’s Two O’Clock Jazz Band (the various UNT ensembles are named after their daily rehearsal times). While the famed One O’Clock Band is the best known and most widely recorded of the several UNT ensembles, the Two O’Clock Band proves on this earnest salute to celebrated composer / saxophonist / trumpeter / bandleader Benny Carter that it’s much less than an hour removed from its more frequently acclaimed running–mate. Here’s what Benny himself wrote after hearing the album: “I was pleased by the performance by the UNT Two O’Clock Lab Band of Kansas City Suite. The musicians played each piece as though it were written for them. I was personally gratified by the enthusiasm shown by the members of the Two O’Clock in the performance of my compositions and arrangements. The entire achievement was totally professional and my hat goes off to [transcriber] Vaughn Roberts, the soloists and especially to [director] Jim Riggs.” The first ten selections on the disc (which together comprise the aforementioned Kansas City Suite ) were written by Carter (and transcribed by the ’98 band’s Jazz trumpeter, Roberts); the others are by Thad Jones (“To You,” which was dedicated to Carter), Cole Porter (“All of You”), Frank Foster (‘Who Me?”), Steve Allen (“This Could Be the Start of Something”), Quincy Jones (“I Needs to be Bee’d with You”) and Benny Goodman / Jimmy Mundy / Charlie Christian (“Air Mail Special,” arranged by Al Cohn). It’s clear from the outset that the Two O’Clock Band is resolutely tuned to Carter’s wavelength, as these are colorful portrayals of his buoyantly swinging Kansas City–style compositions, and those who appreciate big–band Jazz in general, and the Swing Era in particular, should derive great pleasure from hearing them again. Also worth hearing and admiring are Jones’s ardent ballad, Porter’s elegant standard, the seductive swingers by Foster and Jones, and the flag–waving twosome, “Air Mail Special” and “This Could be the Start of Something.” The ensemble is sharp and perceptive, the soloists bold and assertive. A well–played and consistently stylish session from end to end.

Track listing: Vine Street Rumble; Katy Do; Miss Missouri; Rompin’ at the Reno; Sunset Glow; The Wiggle Walk; Meetin’ Time; Paseo Promenade; Blue Five Jive; Jackson County Jubilee; To You; All of You; Who Me?; This Could Be the Start of Something Big; I Needs to Be Bee’d with You; Air Mail Special (61:12).

Personnel:

1998

| Record Label: Klavier | Style: Big Band


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald
vocalist
Phil Woods Phil Woods
sax, alto
Cal Tjader Cal Tjader
vibraphone
Gary Willis Gary Willis
bass, electric
Andrew Neu Andrew Neu
saxophone
Grady Tate Grady Tate
drums
Jamie Fox Jamie Fox
guitar
Melvin Sparks Melvin Sparks
guitar
James Clay James Clay
sax, tenor
Alex Pangman Alex Pangman
vocalist

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Migration" CD/LP/Track Review Migration
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "Over the Rainbow" CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Tuesday Prayers" CD/LP/Track Review Tuesday Prayers
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 29, 2016
Read "Wisdom Of Elders" CD/LP/Track Review Wisdom Of Elders
by James Nadal
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Los Guachos V" CD/LP/Track Review Los Guachos V
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Jim Crow's Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Jim Crow's Tears
by James Nadal
Published: November 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!