239

The Spokane Jazz Orchestra: It's About Time

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Spokane Jazz Orchestra: It's About Time What a great title. The Spokane (WA) Jazz Orchestra, now in its thirtieth year, has at last seen fit to record its first album, and, yes, It's About Time. In fact, long past time—but better late than never. It's surely about time the rest of the country was introduced to a band that has staunchly served the Spokane area since it was formed back in 1975, performing several well-received concerts each year, a number of them under the baton of its principal guest conductor, Gunther Schuller.

The SJO is basically a repertory band, playing in styles ranging from Dixie and swing to contemporary, and canvassing music from Ellington and Lunceford to Basie, Herman, Kenton and beyond. There's one Ellington tune, "Isfahan," on the album, and I had to check the composer credits to make sure there wasn't a second, as pianist Brent Edstrom's "Dark and Stormy Night" has so many Ellington touches that one might reasonably assume the Duke had written it as well. The SJO has chosen its agenda with care, bookending the program with Tom Molter's marvelous arrangements of "Sugar" and "My Shining Hour." In between are splendid originals by Ryan Keberle ("Slants") and Greg Yasinistsky ("Inside Passage'), Monk's "I Mean You," Clifford Brown's "Joy Spring" and four standards—"East of the Sun," "You Don't Know What Love Is," "Makin' Whoopee," "Almost Like Being in Love"—the last two featuring vocalist Charlotte Carruthers.

Music director/trumpeter Dan Keberle, who arranged "I Mean You," "You Don't Know What Love Is" and "East of the Sun," is handsomely showcased on "Joy Spring," as are Edstrom on "I Mean You," alto Chris Moyer on "Isfahan" and trombonist Dave Stultz on "You Don't Know What Love Is," with other heavy-duty solos by tenors Yaskinitsky and Greg Edighoffer, trombonist Molter, trumpeter Andy Plamondon and guitarist Mike Frederick. Yaskinitsky's romping "Inside Passage," which reads like a page from the Herman or Buddy Rich book, is one among many highlights.

Truth be told, each of the charts is first-class, as is the band, from lead trumpeters Terry Lack and Robert McCurdy to the tasteful and hard-working drummer whose name was inadvertently omitted from the album's personnel list. Nice work, whoever you are. Even though the introduction was long overdue, getting acquainted with the SJO has been a genuine pleasure; It's About Time you shared the exhilarating experience.


Title: It's About Time | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
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 "Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974" CD/LP/Track Review Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Soul Garden" CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Kucheza" CD/LP/Track Review Kucheza
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Les Deux Versants Se Regardent" CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Enter the Plus Tet" CD/LP/Track Review Enter the Plus Tet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 8, 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!