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 Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read One Minute Later CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017
Read JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800° CD/LP/Track Review JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800°
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Ephimeral CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Fly or Die CD/LP/Track Review Fly or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Allied Forces" CD/LP/Track Review Allied Forces
by David A. Orthmann
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Jojje Wadenius (70)" CD/LP/Track Review Jojje Wadenius (70)
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Live At Zaal 100" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Zaal 100
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2016
Read "Is It Me...?" CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "All The Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review All The Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 12, 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!