158

The Texas Instruments Jazz Orchestra: Jazz Bytes -- Version 1.0

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Texas Instruments Jazz Orchestra: Jazz Bytes -- Version 1.0 Another Jekyll–and–Hyde big band — but these gentlemen (and one lady) make no attempt to “hyde” the fact that they are (or in some cases were) engineers and technicians by day at Texas Instruments in Dallas, Jazz musicians (amateur division) at night. The story of the TI Jazz Band began in 1986 when a summer co–op student at TI placed an ad in the company newspaper that simply read “Jazz musicians wanted.” Jazz musicians he got, and about three weeks later the band was formed. It has been going strong ever since, performing on more than one hundred–sixty occasions including last summer’s Montreux Jazz Festival while welcoming such celebrated guests as Clark Terry, Kevin Mahogany, Mike Vax, Willie Thomas and legendary educator / clarinetist Leon Breeden. Jazz Bytes was recorded in 1999 when the band had just reached its teens. For what it is — basically a group of weekend warriors — it’s a fairly respectable ensemble; unfortunately, one of the applicants for a position with the band was vocalist Stephanie Mayo who is heard on no less than half a dozen numbers. Mayo has no trouble being heard either, as she makes up in volume what she may lack in other areas while easily surpassing our personal ceiling for big–band vocals, which is two at most (with one an even more pleasing number). When not backing Mayo, the ensemble takes no chances, planting its flag securely in comfortable surroundings — Joe Garland’s “In the Mood,” Freddie Greene’s “Corner Pocket,” Louis Prima’s “Jump, Jive an’ Wail,” Sammy Nestico’s “Quincy and the Count” and Mercer Ellington’s “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be.” As noted, the band’s not bad; the sidemen can obviously read music as well as blueprints, and there are no serious missteps. Soloists are another matter, and for comparison’s sake we would place them generally at the high–school or perhaps junior–college level. As the TI Jazz Band gains more experience and proficiency we’d love to sample more of what it has to offer — but next time, guys, please hold the Mayo.

Contact:www.enerjazz.com


Track Listing: In the Mood; Until I Met You (Corner Pocket); Orange Colored Sky; All of Me; Candy; Jump, Jive an

Personnel: Kris Berg, music director; Paul Westbrook, Tom Hilbun, Dr. Gerry Burnham, Pavel Krocak, Glen Rothstein, Jeff Lynn, reeds; Bennett Scott, Gary Pearce, Bob Penick, Dennis Doane, trumpets; Steve Schulz, Danny Arthurs, Simon Willats, Jon Bohls, trombones; Pete Dreiske, guitar; John Masnik, Scott Clemons, piano; Frank Locrasto, bass; Joe Odneal, Stan Woodward, drums; Herbert Castro, percussion; Stephanie Mayo, vocals.

Title: Jazz Bytes -- Version 1.0 | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: TI


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Windmills" CD/LP/Track Review Windmills
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Beauty Within" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty Within
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Silhouettes" CD/LP/Track Review Silhouettes
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 14, 2017
Read "Ante Lucem for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quintet" CD/LP/Track Review Ante Lucem for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quintet
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 3, 2016
Read "Porcupine Meat" CD/LP/Track Review Porcupine Meat
by James Nadal
Published: September 29, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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