150

The Jonny Cooper Orchestra: Legends of Swing

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Jonny Cooper Orchestra is an American–style dance band from South Africa, of all places, and a fairly decent one at that. On Legends of Swing, which we presume is the orchestra’s recorded debut, trumpeter Cooper and his comrades pay tribute to bandleaders Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and Harry James, Jazz pathfinder Louis Armstrong, vocalist Ella Fitzgerald and composer Earle Hagen. Even though the charts are unremarkable and the orchestra unassuming, the music is beyond reproach and always a pleasure to hear no matter how unsteady the framework on which it rests. The album begins with a salute to Dorsey, Sy Oliver’s “Opus One,” which includes the first of several bright solos by guest trumpeter Jan Johansson. Basie is next up with Neal Hefti’s “The Kid from Red Bank,” on which pianist Gavin Fullard sits in for the Count, then Ellington (“I’m Beginning to See the Light,” solos by Johansson and tenor Ron Franchitti). The JCO employs two vocalists, Kate Normington and Donald Tshomela. Normington is heard on two songs associated with Ella, “That Old Black Magic” and “My Funny Valentine,” while Tshomela presides over the band’s homage to Armstrong, “Mack the Knife.” Drummer McGill Anderson and clarinetist Stuart Goodwin are featured on Louis Prima’s “Sing Sing Sing” (dedicated to Goodman), Johansson on “You Made Me Love You” (ditto to James), Goodwin (alto) on Hagen’s “Harlem Nocturne,” trombonist Clive Sharrock on Dorsey’s familiar theme, “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You.” The JCO saves Miller for last, bowing respectfully to the undisputed monarch of the big–band era with “A String of Pearls” (solos by Franchitti, trumpeter Julian Ford, alto Simon Bates) and Joe Garland’s evergreen, “In the Mood” (Blake, trumpet; Goodwin, alto; Franchitti, tenor). Smooth, pleasant dance music with a touch of Jazz, on the order of that produced by the giants to whom the album is dedicated.


Track Listing: Opus One; The Kid from Red Bank; I

Personnel: Jonny Cooper, leader, trumpet; Mike Blake, Julian Ford, David Abrahams, Lee Thomson, trumpet; Clive Sharrock, Mike Nixon, Sym Yarrow, Lawrence Jacobs, trombone; Stuart Goodwin, alto, tenor sax, clarinet; Simon Bates, alto sax; Ron Franchitti, tenor sax, clarinet; John McBeath, tenor sax; Llewelyn Arnold, baritone sax, clarinet; Gavin Fullard, piano; Martin Nosworthy, guitar; Don Williams, bass; McGill Anderson, drums; Donald Tshomela, Kate Normington, vocals. Guest artist

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: JC | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Live In Ludwigshafen 1961" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Ludwigshafen 1961
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2016
Read "Buoyancy" CD/LP/Track Review Buoyancy
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Still, Up In The Air" CD/LP/Track Review Still, Up In The Air
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)" CD/LP/Track Review Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "New World" CD/LP/Track Review New World
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 9, 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!