Chicago Jazz Philharmonic: Collective Creativity


Sign in to view read count
Chicago Jazz Philharmonic: Collective Creativity "Is it classical or is it jazz?" That is the question found on the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic's (CJP) website; a question that is asked and followed with the statement "you decide," as if the answer were something that only a listener should determine. Listening to the CJP's debut, Collective Creativity, the decision is not an easy one to come by.

Though the album begins with trumpeter/composer/conductor Orbert Davis's own "Fanfare for Cloud Gate," a piece commissioned by the City of Chicago for the 2005 dedication of the "Cloud Gate" sculpture, it also includes Joseph "King" Oliver's "West End Blues/Weatherbird," and Count Basie's "Going to Chicago," the final song on the album which features a five-star performance from guest vocalist Terisa Griffin.

Classical music is the tie that binds from the beginning of the recording to the very end. The CJP is ever-present, with unforgettable string, woodwind, percussion and brass performances. But the music Davis has selected for this recording highlights the innovation of the soloist, and it is the soloist who most brings the element of jazz to the music featured on Collective Creativity.

The best example of this can be found on "West End Blues/Weatherbird," two songs made famous by Louis Armstrong, who delivered some of the best versions of these songs ever heard—performances renowned for bringing the soloist to the forefront. Here Davis, performing on trumpet, steps into the great Armstrong's shoes, with additional solo work provided by trombonist Tracy Kirk. While there are times when there's nothing better than hearing Louis Armstrong play the songs that he made famous, Kirk and Davis do a very good job with their reinterpretation.

The nine-part "Collective Creativity Suite," which represents the bulk of the album's music, immediately follows the King Oliver selection. Of the suite's nine songs, standouts include "An Afternoon with Mr. Bowie" (parts 1 and 2)—based on Igor Stravinsky's "Berceuse" in The Firebird—which showcase tenor saxophonist Ari Brown's excellent solo in Part 1 and Davis in Part 2; "Vice Versa," where the interplay between soloists and CJP is at its most stunning; "Diaspora," a powerful piece that is made more interesting by the sound of percussion; and "One Thousand Questions, One Answer," that has the excellent soloing, power, and good interplay all in one.

Casting aside the focus given to the CJP's fusion of classical and jazz music, this disc is clever in its acknowledgement of beginnings, and how such beginnings evolve when creativity is not stifled. Is marrying the two forms in the best interest of the music and those who have come to love what is good about each form individually? You decide.

Track Listing: Fanfare for Cloud Gate; West End Blues/Weatherbird; Collective Creativity Suite: Diaspora, The Creation of Evolution (part 1), One Thousand Questions, One Answer, The Creation of Evolution (part 2), Seraphim, An Afternoon with Mr. Bowie (part 1), An Afternoon with Mr. Bowie (part 2), The Creation of Evolution (part 3), Vice Versa; Going to Chicago.

Personnel: Orbert Davis: conductor, trumpet, piccolo trumpet; Ari Brown: tenor saxophone; Ed Wilkerson: tenor saxophone, clarinet, didgeridoo; Mwata Bowden: baritone saxophone, baritone clarinet, didgeridoo; Ryan Cohan: piano; Stewart Miller: bass; Ernie Adams: drums; Nicole Mitchell: flute, alto flute, bass flute, piccolo; Stephen Eisen: flute, alto flute; Amy Barwan: oboe; Erin Horan: oboe; Peter Brusen: bassoon, contra bassoon; Dileep Gangolli: clarinet; Jerry Dimuzio: clarinet; Richard Hogarth: bass clarinet; Beth Mazur-Johnson: french horn; Alice Render: french horn; Michael Buckwalter: french horn; Mark Olen: trumpet, flugelhorn; David Spencer: trumpet, flugelhorn; David Young: trumpet, flugelhorn; Tracy Kirk: trombone; Henry Salgado: trombone; Arthur Linsner: bass trombone; Robert Lustrea: bass trombone (track 11); Charlie Schuchat: tuba; Dan Anderson: tuba (track 11); Sarah Allen: tympani; Ruben Alvarez: congas; Mike Avery: percussion; Alejo Poveda: percussion; Ernie Adams: percussion (track 11); Suzanne Osman: percussion (track 11); Sylvia de la Cerna: violin 1; Bernardo Arias: violin 1; Elizabeth Brathwaite: violin 1; Talia Pavia: violin 1; Carl Johnston: violin 1; Karen Nelson: violin 1; Debora Ponko: violin 1; Phyllis Sanders: violin 2; Carol Kalvonjian: violin 2; Barbara Farley: violin 2; Kristine Semanic: violin 2; Irene Quirmbach: violin 2; Jennifer Dunn: violin 2; Scott Dowd: viola; Loretta Gillespie: viola; Lynn LaPlante: viola; Karen Dickleman: viola; Ann Hendrickson-Griffin: cello; Ellen Frolichstein: cello; Andrew Snow: cello; Richard Yao: cello; John Floeter: string bass; Kathryn Nettleman: string bass; Jacque Harper: string bass; Kara Bershad: harp.

Title: Collective Creativity | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: 3 Sixteen Records


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Black Shuck" CD/LP/Track Review Black Shuck
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Tracé Provisoire" CD/LP/Track Review Tracé Provisoire
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Strong Tea" CD/LP/Track Review Strong Tea
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Oaktree" CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "Dream Within A Dream" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Kill Together" CD/LP/Track Review Kill Together
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 12, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.