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 sour answer to the old familiar smoothie. Then there's the luscious version of "Naima and a reverent "Peace, with its heart-lifting solo by trumpeter Marvin Stamm. After delightful interpretations of Horace Silver, Wayne Shorter, and Bill Evans, the session ends with Mike Holober's intricate re-imagining of The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun.
This group is so exceptional that it's beginning to reverse the usual commute: instead of suburbanites trekking southward to seek jazz in the Apple, urbanites are venturing north to hear the WJO. For those who are neither, this sparkling CD will show what all the fuss is about.
Track Listing: Caribbean Fire Dance, (No Longer) in the Mood, Peace, Ping Pong, Naima, Room 608, Turn out the Stars, Here Comes the Sun.
Personnel: Jan Brandford: alto and soprano saxophones, flute; David Brandom: also and soprano saxophones, clarinet, flute; Mike Migliore: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Jason Rigby: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Ed Xiques: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Craig Johnson: trumpet and flugelhorn, solos (3, 4, 7); Tony Kadleck: trumpet and flugelhorn, solos (1, 2, 5, 8); Jim Rotondi: trumpet and flugelhorn; Marvin Stamm: trumpet and flugelhorn, solo (6); Larry Dean Farrell: trombone; George Flynn (bass trombone); Keith O
Year Released: 2007
| Record Label: WJO
| Style: Big Band
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.