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
Title: All In
| Year Released: 2007
| Record Label: WJO
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.