All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

341

The Dayton Jazz Orchestra: Just Playin' Around

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Although not usually singled out as a hotbed of big-band jazz, Ohio boasts a number of impressive regional ensembles — the Cleveland and Columbus Jazz Orchestras, Cincinnati’s legendary Blue Wisp Big Band, and last but not least, the well-equipped Dayton Jazz Orchestra. The DJO kicks off its tenth year with a colorful new album on which, despite its unassuming title, the group is doing much more than Just Playin’ Around. To the contrary, the ensemble is dapper and businesslike, the soloists bright and earnest, especially trumpeter Al Parr and tenor saxophonist Hap Ashenfelter.

Parr is a standout on his features, Ellington’s “Portrait of Louis Armstrong” (the only one of the eleven numbers recorded live) and Monk’s “Ruby My Dear,” while Ashenfelter summons images of the great Bill Perkins on Benny Golson’s “Whisper Not” and Bill Holman’s classic arrangement of “Stompin’ at the Savoy.” Composer / arranger and former trombonist Bob Curnow gives his favorite section a couple of meaty charts to chew on — the sprightly opener, “Bone Appetit,” and stirring finale, Francis Scott Key’s national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.” Ellington is represented again by “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (solos by Parr, pianist Lars Potteiger, trombonist Noah Bellamy), son Mercer Ellington by “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be” (featuring Ashenfelter and alto Tim Pence). Rounding out the well-designed program are Juan Tizol’s “Perdido,” Frank Mantooth’s fiery arrangement of Ray Noble’s Jazz standard, “Cherokee,” and another atypical selection that works surprisingly well, John Philip Sousa’s strutting “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

The DJO’s rhythm section, incited by drummer / artistic director Tom Pompei (an unerring bombardier on “Perdido”) and including pianist Potteiger and bassist Don Compton, provides a constant flow of adrenalin, with only “Savoy” lacking enough muscle and firepower to compete with other versions we’ve heard including Kenton’s. In all, a sizable measure of rewarding big-band Jazz from one of Ohio’s several bounteous stockpiles.

Contact: Dayton Jazz Orchestra, 1864 E. Lytle 5 Pts Road, Dayton, OH 45458. Phone Tom Pompei, 937-231-3687; e-mail daytonjazz orchestra@woh.rr.com


Track Listing: Bone Appetit; Whisper Not; Things Ain

Personnel: John Harner, Reg Richwine, Al Parr, Dick Fox, Mark Wilcox, trumpet; Tim Pence, Hap Ashenfelter, Dan Nicora, Bill Burns, Jeremiah True, reeds; Linda Landis, Noah Bellamy, John Hoff, Denny Selfried, Todd Couch, trombone; Lars Potteiger, piano; Don Compton, bass; Tom Pompei, drums, artistic director.

Title: Just Playin' Around | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: DJO

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 Out in the Open CD/LP/Track Review
Out in the Open
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Contemporary Chaos Practices CD/LP/Track Review
Contemporary Chaos Practices
by Don Phipps
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Changed Beings CD/LP/Track Review
Changed Beings
by Chris May
Published: November 16, 2018
Read We Must Mustn't We CD/LP/Track Review
We Must Mustn't We
by John Sharpe
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Two Infinitudes; The One You "see" and the One That Is You. CD/LP/Track Review
Two Infinitudes; The One You "see" and the One...
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Always Forward CD/LP/Track Review
Always Forward
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 15, 2018
Read "Vestigium" CD/LP/Track Review Vestigium
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 14, 2018
Read "Volition (Live at Café Oto)" CD/LP/Track Review Volition (Live at Café Oto)
by John Eyles
Published: November 10, 2018
Read "Live At The Magic Triangle" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Magic Triangle
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "Phrases" CD/LP/Track Review Phrases
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 12, 2018
Read "e.s.t. live in london" CD/LP/Track Review e.s.t. live in london
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 1, 2018
Read "#awesome" CD/LP/Track Review #awesome
by John Kelman
Published: September 8, 2018