Cole Porter didn't set out to write songs for the jazz folks to sink their teeth into; but it's happened that way anyway. It seems any jazz artist worth their salt tackles Porter at one time or another. Charlie Parker had a field day; Ella Fitzgerald put out a couple of albums' worth of Porter songs. And Frank Sinatra's "I've Got You Under My Skin," written by Porter with Nelson Riddle orchestrating and Old Blue Eyes singing, is artistry at its highest level. Period.
And now the seventeen piece Jazz Orchestra of the Delta, under the direction of Jack Cooper, bites into the Porter songbook, with results that sparkle and shine.
Jack Cooper's arrangements of the Porter standards are knockouts. Propulsive and sassy on an initial listen, revealing subtle shadings and intricate nuances upon repeated listening. Very forhtright and mainstream. I might have guessed Don Sebesky as arranger on a blindfold test, for the clean lines and solid constructions that still allow plenty of room for creative sololing.
Guest trumpeter Marvin Stamm (Stan Kenton Orchestra, Thad Jone/ Mel Lewis, Frank Sinatra, etc.) sits in on a few numbers, with flowing, fluid lines; and Sandra Dudleywho has sung with pianist Fred Hersch and the Nelson Riddle Orchestraadds vocals on four tunes. Her singing on "Night and Day" with an exquisite arrangement featuring flutes and flugelhorns is a particular favorite; and "From This Moment On" showcases Dudley's stunningly beautiful scatting chops.
Cole Porter's songbook is in outstanding hands and horns and vocal chords here. A set that charms the listener into repeated and rewarding spins.
Track Listing: It's Alright with Me, Love for Sale, Night and Day, Twelve, So in Love, Ev'rything I Love, From this Moment On, Two in Love, What is This thing Called Love?
Personnel: Saxophones & woodwinds: John Lux, Mike Krepper, Tom Link, Andre Matlin, Jeff Huddleston, Michael
Scott; Trumpets & flugelhorns: David spenser, Reid McCoy, Ward Yager, Tom Clary; Trombones:
Greg Luscomb, Milton Aldana, Lance Green, Ken Spain, Jake Brumbaugh, Bill Flores; Guitar: Kerry
Movassagh; Piano: Alvie Givhan, Gene Rush; Bass: Tom Goodwin, Sam Shoup; Drums: Bo Harris,
James Sexton; Latin Percussion: Ed Murray
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.