Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

227

The Mike Vax Jazz Orchestra: bigbandjazz.net

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
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

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Feb28Thu
Mike Vax And Trpts
The Nash
Phoenix, AZ
$16-36

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Paint The Sky Album Reviews
Paint The Sky
By Andrew J. Sammut
February 21, 2019
Read God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be Album Reviews
God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be
By Karl Ackermann
February 21, 2019
Read Rhyme And Reason Album Reviews
Rhyme And Reason
By Mark Corroto
February 21, 2019
Read The Definition of Insanity Album Reviews
The Definition of Insanity
By Nicholas F. Mondello
February 21, 2019
Read Omhu Album Reviews
Omhu
By Jakob Baekgaard
February 21, 2019
Read In Between the Tumbling a Stillness Album Reviews
In Between the Tumbling a Stillness
By Karl Ackermann
February 20, 2019
Read Gary Album Reviews
Gary
By Dan McClenaghan
February 20, 2019