Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

254

Paquito D'Rivera with the WDR Big Band: Big Band Time

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
This is one of those good old-fashioned power-laden big-band albums that begs the listener to crank up the volume and let 'er rip. Great songs and wonderful charts, essentially in a buoyant Latin groove, played to a fare-thee-well by Germany's superlative WDR Big Band, with electifying solos by Paquito D'Rivera, Claudio Roditi, other guest artists and members of the ensemble.

D'Rivera and Roditi, who performed together in mentor Dizzy Gillespie's United Nation Orchestra and have continued to do so on occasion with the Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band, underscore their big-band mastery by delivering a series of forceful, in-the-pocket statements that help make Big Band Time a sharp and invigorating syllabus of swinging big-band Jazz with a Spanish accent. They're aided and abetted by three members of D'Rivera's regular working group, bassist Oscar Stagnaro, drummer Mark Walker and percussionist Pernell Saturnino, and a number of canny WDR soloists including pianist Frank Chastenier, saxophonists Heiner Wiberny and Olivier Peters, guitarist Paul Shigihara, bassist John Goldsby, trombonist Ludwig Nuss and trumpeter John Marshall.

D'Rivera wrote six of the ten selections, Roditi and Leo Brouwer one each, and the album closes with two masterworks by the legendary Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, "Andalucia" and "Y la Negra Bailaba." A further word about that: whoever designed and printed the album's booklet and tray card was either misled or did so before the final sequencing was decided, as several of the tracks are out of order. It took a while to sort them out but the correct listing (I believe) is what appears to the right of this review.

Not much to say about the music except that almost everything the band and soloists cook up is downright spectacular. D'Rivera, whose name doesn't often appear in the "popularity polls" (nor does Roditi's, for reasons that are unfathomable here), is as good a clarinetist as you're likely to hear anywhere, anytime, as he shows on the first three selections, his own bubbly "To Brenda with Love" and seductive "Song for Maura" and Brouwer's lively "Danza Caracteristica." Roditi and Chastenier also solo on "Brenda," Chastenier on "Maura," Shigihara, Walker and Saturnino on "Danza."

"Who's Smokin'?," based on Jerome Kern's "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and arranged by Jay Ashby, is a free-wheeling swinger with scorching solos by Wiberny (who sounds uncannily like Cannonball Adderley), Nuss, Roditi and D'Rivera on alto. The tempo remains up for Roditi's saucy samba, "Annette's," on which he solos with D'Rivera, Walker, Saturnino and Chastenier. Bassists Stagnaro and Goldsby are the headliners on D'Rivera's high-flying "Basstronaut," which contains faint allusions to Dizzy's "Manteca." D'Rivera solos on clarinet, Roditi on trumpet, and Paquito then switches to alto to trade fours with Claudio.

D'Rivera's creamy clarinet enhances his gently swaying "Como un Bolero" (with other solos by Roditi [muted] and Shigihara), after which the mood changes from Latin to bop for D'Rivera's "A lo Tristano," a tribute to the late pianist Lennie T that embodies eloquent commentary by Paquito (alto), tenor Peters and trumpeter Marshall. Roditi and Chastenier share the blowing space on Lecuona's lyrical "Andalucia" before Paquito neatly wraps the package with another persuasive clarinet soliloquy on "Y la Negra Bailaba."

A consistently colorful and exciting big-band album with a swaggering Latin beat that never fails to please.

Contact: Pimienta Records, P.O. Box 164833, Miami, FL 33116-4833. Phone 305-801-8965; fax 305-48-1904. www.pimientarecords.com . Distributed by Universal Music Latino, 420 Lincoln Road, Suite 200, Miami Beach, FL 33139.


Track Listing: To Brenda With Love, Danza Caracteristica, Song for Maura, Basstronaut, Who's Smokin'?, Y La Negra Bailaba, Andalucia, A Lo Tristano, Como Un Bolero, Annette's For Sure.

Personnel: Paquito D'Rivera: clarinet, saxophone;John Goldsby: bass; Claudio Roditi: trumpet, flugelhorn; Koji Paul Shigihara: guitar; Oscar Stagnaro: bass; Mark Walker: drums; Olivier Peters: saxophone; Heiner Wiberny: saxophone; Pernell Saturnino: percussion; Ludwig Nuss: trombone.

Title: Big Band Time | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Pimienta Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Child in Me CD/LP/Track Review The Child in Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Way Home CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Birdhoused" CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "A Pouting Grimace" CD/LP/Track Review A Pouting Grimace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves" CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Ignacio" CD/LP/Track Review Ignacio
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "The Book of Transfigurations" CD/LP/Track Review The Book of Transfigurations
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Southern Avenue" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Avenue
by James Nadal
Published: February 10, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor