246

Arizona Jazz Academy Ellington Band: Jazz Around the World

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Arizona Jazz Academy Ellington Band: Jazz Around the World High school students? No way! Then again, these aren't just any high school students—they're the cream of the jazz crop in Tucson, Arizona. They've survived auditions to become members of the four-year-old Arizona Jazz Academy and worked their way up through the Academy's ranks to become members of its eighth and best large ensemble, the impressive Ellington Band.

Listening to the band's latest album (recorded at the AJA), one can readily appreciate why every one of its graduates has been offered a college scholarship. They're clearly eager and ready to proceed to the next level in their search for musical excellence. Director Doug Tidaback believes his students should be well-grounded in the legacy of the great jazz masters, and the playbook leans heavily on classic compositions and arrangements by Ellington, Strayhorn, Benny Carter, Fletcher Henderson, Sy Oliver, Mary Lou Williams and others.

Jazz Around the World, which salutes the band's highly successful visit to Europe in summer '05, is no exception, including as it does Ellington's "Jack the Bear and "Happy Go Lucky Local, Carter's "Vine Street Rumble, Juan Tizol's "Perdido and the Henderson favorite, "Avalon. "Pyramid and "Katy Do are period pieces as well, but I'm not sure of their authorship and don't wish to hazard a guess. "Come Fly with Me and "Uno Mas are clearly of more recent lineage.

Although the personnel on this admirable recording aren't listed, they perform quite well, individually and collectively, and there are pleasing solos along the way by unnamed alto and tenor saxophones, piano, drums and at least one trumpet and trombone (perhaps more). Considering the circumstances, the recording itself is respectable, even though whoever had his (or her) hand on the controls cut the sound too quickly at the end of almost every number, clipping the last overtones. But that's a minor quibble in an otherwise commendable endeavor. The AJA has come a long way in only four years, and looking ahead, it seems that the sky's the limit.


Track Listing: Perdido; Avalon; Vine Street Rumble; Come Fly with Me; Jack the Bear; Happy Go Lucky Local; Pyramid; Katy Do; Uno Mas (48:08).

Personnel: Doug Tidaback: director. Personnel Unlisted.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: AJA | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Moons
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "Disappearing Day" CD/LP/Track Review Disappearing Day
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Out & About" CD/LP/Track Review Out & About
by Doug Collette
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Ed Calle 360" CD/LP/Track Review Ed Calle 360
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "The Caustic Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review The Caustic Ballads
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Four Plus Three" CD/LP/Track Review Four Plus Three
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!