Although he was born in the U.S., trombonist Jiggs Whigham’s name is far better known to Jazz enthusiasts overseas, especially in Europe, than it is to those in his native country. That’s because Whigham has lived abroad since 1965 when he went to Cologne, Germany, to join the Kurt Edelhagen Orchestra. To say that the Ohio native’s reputation has flourished there would be an understatement, as he is one of the most respected players, composers, conductors and educators on the continent, the first person to head the Jazz faculty at the Cologne Music College, a former leader of the Swiss Radio Orchestra, chief conductor and artistic director of Berlin’s RIAS Big Band, and professor for life and head of the Jazz and Popular Music Department at the Hanns Eisler College of Music, also in Berlin. Having spent time in the Glenn Miller and Stan Kenton orchestras before leaving the States, Whigham has since performed with a who’s who of Jazz artists from the U.S. and abroad including Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Dexter Gordon, Hank Jones, Lee Konitz, Peter Herbolzheimer, Toots Thielemans and the legendary Kenny Clarke–Francy Boland Big Band. The selections on Love Walked In, recorded over a twenty–year span (1968–88) with the world–class Netherlands Metropole Orchestra, show why Whigham is held in such high regard, his buttery tone complemented by superior technique and an enormous wellspring of cogent ideas. The music swings, but gently, as most selections lean toward smooth and restful, with only “Love Walked In,” arranged by Lex Jasper, sustaining a brisker pace. In short, this is essentially a ballad–lover’s anthology with luminous arrangements by Rob Pronk (eight), Jasper (“Love Walked In,” “You’ve Changed”) and Rik Elings (“Bluesette”). Pronk is the conductor on eight selections, Dolf van der Linden on three. The album probably won’t make Whigham a household name here in the States, but it proves beyond question why he is so highly regarded in Europe and elsewhere.
Without a Song**; Bluesette**; I Only Miss Her When I Think of Her*; I Hadn
Jiggs Whigham, trombone, with the Netherlands Metropole Orchestra conducted by Dolf van der Linden* and Rob Pronk**.
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