185

The Columbus Jazz Orchestra: Band at Work (Twenty-Five Years)

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Columbus (Ohio) Jazz Orchestra (formerly known as the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus), still spry and flourishing after 25 years — quite an accomplishment for a community–based Jazz ensemble — has produced marvelous recordings in the past with such eminent guest artists as clarinetist Eddie Daniels and saxophonist Benny Golson. On Band at Work, which encompasses concert dates from 1989–98, the CJO is on its own and none the worse for it. Artistic director Ray Eubanks always has the troops ready to skirmish, and they are at the top of their game throughout this varied and picturesque album of snapshots from their concert dates at Battelle Auditorium, Dayton’s Memorial Hall and the wonderfully named Riffe Center. There’s not much here that big–band fans won’t have heard before (Stan Smith ’s frolicsome “Samba Ray” may be an exception) but everything is well–played and swinging, from Woody Herman’s tempestuous “Apple Honey” to Golson’s graceful “Whisper Not” (smartly arranged by former U.S. Army Blue saxophonist Mike Tomaro). Violinist Ola Hanson, who fashioned such a memorable solo on “Moon–ithology” (“How High the Moon” / “Ornithology”) on the CJO’s album with Golson, Night Magic, returns to dazzle us once more on “Play, Fiddle, Play” (from 1989), one of three superb charts by trombonist Gary Carney (who has since left the band to take up residence in Arizona). The others are the Gershwins’ “Strike Up the Band” and Victor Young / Ned Washington’s ballad “My Foolish Heart,” on which his well–tempered trombone is center stage. Longtime CJO arranger Vaughn Wiester arranged Styne / Comden / Green’s “Make Someone Happy.” Also on the bill of fare are Matt Catingub’s whimsical “Blues and My Abscessed Tooth,” Jelly Roll Morton’s “Black Bottom Stomp” (arranged by Bob Curnow), Gene Roland’s Kenton classic “Opus in Chartreuse,” Bob Florence’s ebullient “Be Bop Charlie” and trumpeter Don Rader’s high–calorie “Greasy Sack Blues.” Soloists (tenor Byron Rooker is featured on “Abscessed Tooth,” lead alto Brudette Green on “Make Someone Happy”) are consistently sharp and resourceful, while the rhythm section (pianist Hank Marr, guitarist Derek DiCenzo, bassist Al Berry, drummer Bob Breithaupt) enlivens the ensemble at every turn (and are at their sassiest on “Samba Ray”). This is an ingratiating glance over its shoulder by one of the country’s most admirable and long–established regional big bands.

Track listing: Apple Honey; Blues and My Abscessed Tooth; Black Bottom Stomp; Opus in Chartreuse; Play, Fiddle, Play; Make Someone Happy; Be Bop Charlie; Greasy Sack Blues; Strike Up the Band; My Foolish Heart; Whisper Not; Samba Ray (65:05).

Personnel:

Ray Eubanks, artistic director; Brudette Green, Michael Cox, alto, soprano sax; Jim Gallagher, alto sax; Clarence

| Record Label: Jazz Arts Group | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Brass Tactics" CD/LP/Track Review Brass Tactics
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Sureste" CD/LP/Track Review Sureste
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "Z Octet" CD/LP/Track Review Z Octet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Saints and Sinners" CD/LP/Track Review Saints and Sinners
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2016
Read "Dreamland Mechanism" CD/LP/Track Review Dreamland Mechanism
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 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!