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...

296

Emerald City Jazz Orchestra: Come Rain or Come Shine

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
A rule of thumb for any artistic endeavor is that a sequel is seldom as good as the original. The qualifier "seldom must be used because there are occasional exceptions to the rule. As luck would have it, here comes one now—the Emerald City Jazz Orchestra's remarkable followup to its debut album, Alive and Swingin'! (SMP 0004). In reviewing that earlier enterprise, I noted that "section work is immaculate, soloists are superb, and the rhythm section simply kicks ass. I happy to report that nothing has changed.

Well, that's not entirely true; there have been a couple of changes, but for the better. Baritone saxophonist Matso Limtiaco, who authored nine of the thirteen exemplary charts on Swingin'!, has written all of them this time, while the ECJO has picked up another stellar soloist, veteran trumpeter Vern Sielert. Besides being a superb arranger, Limtiaco is a capable improviser too, as he shows on Wayne Shorter's "Infant Eyes and Duke Ellington's "In a Mellow Tone.

Shorter is represented as well by "Speak No Evil and "Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, Count Basie by "Jumpin' at the Woodside, Dizzy Gillespie by "Manteca, tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin by "Call It Whatchawanna (showcasing one of the band's stylish tenors, Travis Ranney). Limtiaco also arranged the standards "Stella by Starlight, "Body and Soul (another feature for Ranney) and "Come Rain or Come Shine, plus the traditional hymn "Amazing Grace, which he dedicated to those who lost their lives in NYC on September 11, 2001.

The album's only recent composition, "Blues #3, was written by Limtiaco to spotlight the rhythm section (with crisp solos by bassist Steve Messick, drummer Ken French and pianist Reuel Lubag). While each of Limtiaco's charts is enticing, I was especially charmed by the quicker tempo on "Mellow Tone, which is here more assertive than mellow (as is Matso's solo), and the funky framework on "Body and Soul, which handsomely complements Ranney's evocative tenor. "Woodside doesn't sound a whole lot like Basie's classic theme but is nonetheless sharp and swinging on its own terms.

Limtiaco says he tried to choose songs with great blowing opportunities for the soloists, and so he has. Besides those already mentioned, the resourceful ad-libbers include trombonists Nathan Vetter, Dan Marcus and Vic Anderson; altos Ben Roseth and Mark Taylor; and tenor Cliff Colon, who burns rubber on "Manteca, "Fee-Fi and "Woodside. The ensemble, as noted, is consistently trim and poised, vanquishing Limtiaco's strenuous charts with unflappable assurance.

The group's leader (and lead trumpeter), Kevin Seeley, writes in the liners that during the two recording sessions "no tune was played more than twice, and half of these tunes we caught on the first take! What a band! I'll second that. The studio sound is generally acceptable, the 78:55 playing time exemplary. Another slam dunk by the well-endowed ECJO, and one of the more impressive big band albums of the year.


Track Listing: Speak No Evil; Blues #3; Come Rain or Come Shine; Infant Eyes; Call It Whatchawanna; Stella by Starlight; Manteca; Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum; In a Mellow Tone; Body and Soul; Amazing Grace; Jumpin

Personnel: Kevin Seeley, leader, trumpet; Greg Lyons, Peter Green (6), Vern Sielert, Randy Burgeson, John Fricke, trumpet; Ben Roseth, Mark Taylor (1,4,5,8-10), Vanessa Sielert, Cliff Colon, Travis Ranney (1,4,5,8-10), Andrew Glynn, Steve Reincke (6), Matso Limtiaco, reeds; Vic Anderson, Greg Koehler (6), Nathan Vetter, Dan Marcus, Stuart Hambley (6), Bud Parker, trombone; Reuel Lubag, piano; Steve Messick, bass; Ken French, drums.

Title: Come Rain or Come Shine | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Pony Boy Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read The Forest from Above CD/LP/Track Review
The Forest from Above
by John Eyles
Published: December 13, 2018
Read Imaginary Band CD/LP/Track Review
Imaginary Band
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 13, 2018
Read Night CD/LP/Track Review
Night
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 13, 2018
Read An Ayler Xmas Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
An Ayler Xmas Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2018
Read I Always Knew CD/LP/Track Review
I Always Knew
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 12, 2018
Read "At synge verden ind i en ny og mangefoldet tid" CD/LP/Track Review At synge verden ind i en ny og mangefoldet tid
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 13, 2018
Read "Faroe" CD/LP/Track Review Faroe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2018
Read "Origins" CD/LP/Track Review Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Ilona" CD/LP/Track Review Ilona
by Anthony Shaw
Published: May 10, 2018
Read "Twio" CD/LP/Track Review Twio
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2018
Read "Parting Is" CD/LP/Track Review Parting Is
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 14, 2018