227

The Mike Vax Jazz Orchestra: bigbandjazz.net

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Mike Vax Jazz Orchestra: bigbandjazz.net Trumpeter Mike Vax has come up with an interesting idea, using his latest album to promote the web site bigbandjazz.net, which in turn promotes the Oakland, CA–based non–profit group Friends of Big Band Jazz (FBBJ), whose worthy goal is to help keep big–band Jazz alive for future generations. FBBJ supports and promotes performances by the MVJO, proceeds from which are used to provide opportunities for young musicians to pursue their interest in big–band Jazz through summer camps and other musical programs and events. While buying a copy (or more) of the CD helps FBBJ spread the word about big–band Jazz, an even better reason to do so is that the MVJO is a conspicuously high–powered ensemble molded in the image of the celebrated Stan Kenton Orchestra, and bigbandjazz.net encompasses more than seventy–two minutes of eminently rewarding big–band Jazz. In short, it’s a kick to hear and appreciate music as bright and admirable as this. Section work is crisp and unerring, soloists alert and resourceful. The orchestra comes out swinging on the first of five well–crafted originals, Dave Hanson’s bouncy “Royal Rendezvous” (solos by tenor Scott Peterson and trumpeter Mike Olmos). Vax is the soloist on the sensuous “Love Theme from Hair,” which precedes buoyant new works by Howard Cespedes (“Sunday Variations”) and Bob Washut (“Hoofin’”). Guest Cami Thompson is up next, offering the first of her two amiable vocals, on Cole Porter’s “I Concentrate on You“ (she’s also heard on Michel Legrand’s “The Way He Makes Me Feel”). There are two versions of the electrifying “Virgen de Macarena,” the first with solos by Vax and Peterson (on soprano), the second (which closes the album) featuring Vax alone. The orchestra settles into a genial groove on “That Old Feeling,” “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” and a surprisingly persuasive reading of the theme from “Naked Gun.” Peterson and trombonist Scott Tingle are the soloists on “Feeling,” Olmos, alto Antony Pickard, guitarist Randy Vincent and guest conguero Raul Rekow on “Dance,” Olmos, Vax, pianist Max Perkoff, baritone Doug Rowan and bassist Mario Suraci on “Gun.” Lennie Niehaus’ explosive “Vax Attacks,” with fiery comments by Vax and Peterson, is reminiscent of the great Maynard Ferguson bands of the ’60s, while Frank Foster’s “Blues in Hoss Flat” (solos by pianist Si Perkoff, trumpeter George Spencer, trombonist Mara Fox) is torn straight from the Basie book. Sandwiched between them is Rolf Johnson’s rhythmic “Ice Nine,” whose soloists are Rowan (on bass clarinet) and alto Rory Snyder. Great big–band Jazz for a worthy cause; in the words of Ira Gershwin, who could ask for anything more?

Contact: Summit Records, P. O. Box 26850, Tempe, AZ 85285 (phone 800–543–5156; e–mail sales@summitrecords.com. Web site, www.summitrecords.com).


Title: BigBandJazz.net | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Enja Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "The Digging" CD/LP/Track Review The Digging
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey" CD/LP/Track Review Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Sektion 3-7" CD/LP/Track Review Sektion 3-7
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Stinger" CD/LP/Track Review Stinger
by Joe Gatto
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "From the Heart" CD/LP/Track Review From the Heart
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley" CD/LP/Track Review And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!