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Big Band Caravan

Mike Barone / National Youth Jazz Orchestra / Vaughn Wiester / Dutch Jazz Orchestra


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Mike Barone Big Band
Class of '68
Rhubarb Recordings

While some may deem composer / arranger / trombonist Mike Barone's latest album gratuitous, those who were introduced to Barone's music via the band's superb recording Live at Donte's, 1968 should take enormous pleasure in hearing further inspired commentary from that remarkably talented Class of '68. In fact, even those who aren't yet acquainted with Barone's erstwhile ensemble may be blown away by big-band jazz that sounds so fresh and stylish that one might easily assume it had been recorded last week or last month.

Once upon a time, Barone's stalwart big band performed every Wednesday evening at Donte's nightclub in North Hollywood, CA. Impromptu recordings of some of the sessions were made by George Jerman using an Ampex 960 tape recorder. "Not exactly state-of-the-art," Barone says, "but they came out just fine." Fine enough to produce the memorable album Live at Donte's, which wasn't released as a CD until 1998. Now, more than a decade onward, Barone has seen fit to redeem more of the music from those free-wheeling club dates, and big-band enthusiasts should be thankful for that decision.

Actually, the first four tracks on Class of '68 were recorded in-studio in January 1969 with essentially the same personnel as at Donte's save for Mike Wofford sitting in for pianist Cliff Bryant, bassist Monty Budwig for Jim Hughart and tenor saxophonist Tom Scott for Bill Hood. Barone wrote three of those four numbers and scored Henry Mancini's "Two for the Road," on which his trombone is featured (as it is on Charlie Loper's arrangement of "Somewhere Along the Way"). Barone's brother, trumpeter Gary, is showcased on "Peachy," another of Mike Barone's half-dozen originals; tenor Lou Ciotti on "Medalist" and the captivating "Waltz This!," Bill Perkins (flute) on "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby," Buddy Childers (flugel) on "More Than You Know." Perkins (alto) and baritone Jack Nimitz trade volleys on the exuberant and aptly named "Perk Up Jack." The Barone brothers and Ciotti solo on the well-knit opener, "The Monster," so-named by alto Med Flory because of its constantly shifting tempos. Flory wrote the powerful "Tempi," on which he and Gary Barone share solo honors. Completing the program is Mike Barone's sauntering "Real Neal" (Hefti), enfolding persuasive statements by the Barones and trumpeter Steve Huffsteter.

Who says you can't go home again? Mike Barone has not only done so, he has invited the rest of us to tag along on a delightful excursion to yesteryear when the indomitable Class of '68 was earning its master's degree in tasteful, high-octane big-band jazz.

National Youth Jazz Orchestra
When You're Ready
Stanza Music

So many talented musicians have arisen from the ranks of Britain's superlative National Youth Jazz Orchestra that one can be forgiven for overlooking the fact that a sizable number of its alumni are accomplished composer / arrangers as well. Such is the case with trumpeter Evan Jolly whose music forms the bedrock of NYJO's latest album, When You're Ready, subtitled "NYJO Plays the Compositions and Arrangements of Evan Jolly." Jolly wrote four of the dozen selections, redesigned three others and arranged all of them including five of director Bill Ashton's vocal compositions, two each by Sarah Ellen Hughes and Atila Huseyin, one more by Lauren Derwent.

The album was recorded in three sessions, two in front of an appreciative audience (2005, 2008) at Ronnie Scott's nightclub in London, the last track (featuring Sir John Dankworth on alto sax) in 2006 in-studio at Joe & Co. On the review copy a two-minute break follows "Sir Johnny Comes Marching Home," after which the band returns, clearly live again, to back Ashton as he buoyantly reprises "Paris Is for Lovers," this time in French (Huseyin sings it earlier in English). An unlisted but nonetheless rewarding "bonus."

As Jolly is the album's focal point, a word should be said about his music, and that word is marvelous. That's especially true of the instrumentals, each of which exudes vitality and charm, but he's no slouch when writing for vocalists either. As Ashton points out in his liner notes, Jolly "excels at creating a musical cushion for singers . . . but when asked to write something instrumental he does so with aplomb." That he does. The high-octane opener, "When You're Ready," is modeled after Neal Hefti's "Flight of the Foo Birds." Next up is the lovely "Ballad for Saturday" (NYJO's regular rehearsal day), a showcase for the young flugelhorn prodigy Freddie Gavita. Vibraphonist Lewis Wright is featured on the breezy, Latin-tinged "Felicity," guitarist Jon Russell on an even faster-paced and more muscular Latin salute, "Abbey Gale," pianist Rob Barron on the bewitching "Little Right Foot," transcribed by Jolly from an Oscar Peterson recording.

Even though the number of vocals clearly exceeds this reviewer's self-imposed limit for a big-band recording, the tunes are radiantly sung by Hughes, Derwent and Huseyin, all of whom have performed with NYJO on a fairly regular basis, and one certainly can't censure Jolly's charts, which do provide an inflexible "cushion" while making room for admirable solos by Gavita ("When Love Is Lost"), trumpeter Rory Simmons ("Let's Settle Down"), alto Nathan Hawkes ("Nobody's Perfect") and tenor Richard Shepherd ("Glory of Love"). Completing the luminous program are Jolly's clever arrangement of Fats Waller's playful "Keepin' Out of Mischief Now" (featuring tenor James Arben) and Sir Dankworth's sprightly showpiece, based on the martial theme "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," on which Jolly makes wonderful use, as usual, of the various sections.

In sum, another clear-cut winner for NYJO whose CDs in my library now number twenty-six.

Vaughn Wiester's Famous Jazz Orchestra
Herb-al Remedy

The fifth recording by the irrepressible Vaughn Wiester's Columbus, Ohio-based Famous Jazz Orchestra is the second devoted to the music of Herb Harrison who, sad to report, passed away in September 2008 at age eighty-four shortly before the album was released. Herb-al Remedy shines the spotlight on nineteen of Harrison's impish, upbeat compositions and / or arrangements, recorded in concert at the Columbus Music Hall over a four-year span from 2004-08.

Of the nineteen, Harrison wrote three and arranged the others, almost all of which should be readily known to fans of jazz and popular music. The trio of originals includes the dreamy "20th of July," easygoing "Mr. Bentley's Bossa" and sauntering "Crunch M'Can Blues," while a fourth, "We Need a Little Christmas Medley," is "original" in the sense that it neatly blends a number well-known seasonal themes into Harrison's incandescent chart. Before retiring to Ohio more than a decade ago, Harrison taught music for thirty years at Cal State-Sacramento where his students included Bobby McFerrin and Steve Turre.

The FJO gives each of these songs a pleasurable ride, paying due respect to color and dynamics while swinging earnestly whenever the need arises. Soloists are invariably adept, the ensemble as a whole perceptive and enterprising. Trumpeter Jim Powell is out front on "Gotcha" (Under My Skin), pianist Jim Luellen on "Blue Moon," trombonist John Hall on "Peanut Vendor," French hornist Scott Strohm on "Fools Rush In," tenor Joe Graziosi on "Bluesette," trombonist Ryan Hamilton on "My Silent Love," tenor Brian Olsheski on "It Ain't Necessarily So," trumpeter Larry Everhart on "The Very Thought of You," tenor John Vermulen on "You Are Too Beautiful." Wiester gives almost everyone some blowing space; others who seize the moment include trumpeters Bob Larson and Bert Yance, flugel Phil Winnard, trombonists Matt Ellis and Sean Maloney, alto Jay Miglia, tenor Matt James, baritone Bob LeBeau and bassist Larry Cook.

Good as they are, it is Harrison's tasteful charts that repeatedly earn one's praise and enhance the album's purpose. As a result of his artistry, this refreshing, easy-to-swallow Herb-al Remedy may be precisely what the doctor ordered.

Dutch Jazz Orchestra
Moon Dreams

The always bold and enterprising Dutch Jazz Orchestra, having previously revitalized "lost" music by Billy Strayhorn (on four albums) and Mary Lou Williams, weighs in this time with rediscovered compositions / arrangements by Gil Evans and Gerry Mulligan. Jeru wrote three of the eleven songs ("Joost at the Roost," "The Major and the Minor," "Brew's Tune," the last two never before recorded) on Moon Dreams and arranged three others; the remaining five charts were framed by Evans including the prismatic opener, Enrique Granados' "Spanish Dance," written, as were the rest of these charts, in the late '40s for the intrepid Claude Thornhill Orchestra.

Evans and Mulligan would interweave their talents in 1949-50 as among the chief architects of Miles Davis' groundbreaking album, The Birth of the Cool. While opening a window on their early development, Moon Dreams leaves no doubt about the direction in which each of these soon-to-be giants was moving. Mulligan's sunny, animated compositions and arrangements presage his later alliances with Chet Baker, the Concert Jazz Band and other straight-ahead groups with such ebullient sidemen as Zoot Sims, Bob Brookmeyer and Bill Crow. Evans, on the other hand, was laying the groundwork for more exploratory work with Davis, the Monday Night Orchestra and his own Gil Evans Orchestra. Listen, for example, to how Evans re-orchestrates Charlie Parker's iconic "Yardbird Suite," the standard "Lover Man" or the extended "Easy Living" medley.

Mulligan, on the other hand, plows a smoother furrow, wandering afield only on "Rose of the Rio Grande," whose melody is scarcely present but whose rhythmic thrust remains unimpaired. The DJO, by any measure a world-class ensemble, has no problem embodying either style; the band is as secure and unerring on Mulligan's breezy arrangement of "Broadway" as it is on "Spanish Dance" or any of the sinuous Evans charts. Along the way, a number of admirable soloists step confidently into the breach including trumpeter Ruud Breuls, alto Marco Kegel, tenor Simon Rigter, baritone Nils Van Haften, trombonists Martijn Sohier and Ilja Reijngoud, French hornist Morris Kliphuis ("Joost at the Roost"), guitarist Martijn Van Iterson and pianist Rob Van Bavel.

Shining as it does a light on the formative handiwork on Evans and Mulligan, Moon Dreams carries innate historical significance. Beyond that, the Dutch Jazz Orchestra proves again that it can master any musical blueprint, whatever its scope or purpose, and do so with authority and elan. Its latest album earns a blue ribbon in both arenas.

Sound Assembly
Edge of the Mind
Beauport Jazz

Edge of the Mind underscores the compositional and arranging talents of David Schumacher (tracks 1, 2, 5, 7) and JC Sanford (3, 4, 6, 8, 9), late of the New England Conservatory, both of whom studied composition / orchestration with George Russell and Bob Brookmeyer, among others. Their vehicle of choice is Sound Assembly, an eight-year-old New York-based seventeen-piece orchestra whose members are seasoned pros and quickly erase any doubts about their being able to navigate these recurrently choppy waters with relative ease.

Schumacher gets the prismatic parade under way with "Breaking Point" and "Edge of the Window," the first using dissonance and 3-4 rhythms to drive home its peripatetic point, the second a more decorous theme for trumpeter John Bailey, pianist Deanna Witkowski and alto Eric Rasmussen. Sanford's "Slide Therapy" skids inexorably into the abstract, complementing chaotic solos by soprano Dan Willis and guitarist Andrew Green, before "Chuck 'n Jinx" restores a modicum of conformity, swinging smartly along behind cogent ad libs by trombonist Mark Patterson and bassist David Ambrosio. For hard-core jazz fans, that may plausibly epitomize the album's apogee.

Kate McGarry lends her pellucid voice to Schumacher's smooth-flowing "Radiance of Spring," which also showcases Dave Riekenberg's expressive baritone sax. Sanford's "Rhythm of the Mind," a free-sounding theme that encompasses not one but two clarinet solos, by Ben Kono (bass clarinet) and Rasmussen, plus three mantras recited by a male chorus, precedes Schumacher's lyrical "My Star," a more accessible anthem that accommodates candid statements by Ambrosio, trombonist Alan Ferber and trumpeter David Smith. Witkowski introduces Sanford's "Ives, Eyes," a picturesque tone poem that uses rubato throughout to enhance its musical temperament, after which Sanford closes the deal with the aggressive "BMT," spotlighting Kono (on tenor sax), Bailey and virtuosic drummer John Hollenbeck.

These are in essence thought-provoking works that commands one's unwavering awareness and consideration. If due diligence is given, the rewards can be sizable, but only for those whose taste runs to the avant-garde. It's an ample meal but one that is most easily digested by epicures.

Mt. Hood Jazz Band & Combos
Doin' the Best Deeds
Sea Breeze Vista

If there is one immutable taboo in this reviewer's canon, it is "thou shalt not start a big-band album with a vocal." An unshakable addendum would be "thou shalt not under any circumstances add scat to said vocal." That's two quick strikes against the Mt. Hood Jazz Band, which opens Doin' the Best Deeds with Nancy King singing (and scatting) Rodgers and Hart's "Where or When." If an 0-2 count makes a comeback seem implausible, at least it is not impossible, and one must concede that director Susie Jones' ensemble has a number of useful assets to employ in designing its fifth album in as many years.

First and foremost, this is a remarkable group of young musicians, especially at the community college level. Second, the choice of material is essentially agreeable, commencing with Duke Pearson's melodic "Jeanine" and canvassing the standards "Cherokee," "My Foolish Heart" and "Georgia," Thad Jones' "2nd Race," Gerald Albright's "Chips and Salsa" and a spellbinding "bonus" track, "Wiggle Walk," that is listed on the album's tray but not in its booklet. Third, there is only one more vocal, by tenor saxophonist Billy Gaechter (with backup chorus) on Mike Tomaro's soulful "What Is Hip?"

One meaningful departure from earlier albums is that the Jazz Band shares time with two of the school's smaller groups, Combo A (on pianist Sam Hirsh's "Pedalogy," trumpeter Tom Peters' "Road to Uncertainty") and Combo B (Roy Hargrove's shuffling "Forget Regret"). "Pedalogy" is especially likable, a freewheeling swinger with buoyant solos by Hirsh, Peters, Gaechter (on tenor) and guitarist Cory Sterling, each of whom trades fours with drummer Ross Davis. Other soloists of note include alto Sam Solano and guitarist Solomon Thelin. Trumpeters Karl Blackwood, Matthew Mooney, Spencer Didlake and Dustin Williams, trombonists Sean Wyatt and Heidi Aispuro, alto Michelle Christiansen and tenor Jon Vancura are given their moment in the sun on "2nd Race."

Is that enough to neutralize the session's ill-advised opening track? On balance, yes. One can always press the "forward" button and start with Track 2, or, better still, proceed directly to Track 3, "Jeanine," the curtain-raiser that should have been. The rest of the album is basically sharp and rewarding.

Dan Cavanagh's Jazz Emporium Big Band

Composer / arranger / pianist Dan Cavanagh's inaugural CD, Pulse, begins and ends on an explicit high note. It is what lies between those bookends that gives one pause. There are moments of emergent promise leading to others that are, not to put too fine a point on it, less than inspiring. Of course, that is a purely subjective appraisal, as one man's trash may well be another's treasure. And no matter how one perceives the music, Cavanagh must be given due credit for expressing his distinctive point of view.

Still and all, it no doubt takes a certain kind of listener to embrace warmly the album's "centerpiece," the three-movement "Mississippi Ecstasy," on which the ensemble plays a largely subordinate role to Timothy Young's poetic description of a two-part journey that began in 2006 and spanned the entire range of the Mississippi River. The same could be said for "Black Rattle," which evinces some passion but only after more than three and one-half minutes of indifferent foreplay. "Pulse," "Tunnel Vision," "North South" and "A Time of Reckoning" fare appreciably better, thanks to Cavanagh's more accessible charts and creditable solos by vibraphonist Dave Hagedorn ("Pulse"), trumpeter Ken Edwards and trombonist Steve Wiest ("Vision"), soprano Steve Owen ("North South"), Cavanagh and Hagedorn ("Reckoning"). Soprano Randy Hamm and flugel Scott Harrell warrant one's praise on the enticing opener, "Having Built in Deeper Water."

In sum, Pulse is what we in the States would call a mixed bag, the British a curate's egg. While it certainly has its engaging moments, they are counterbalanced by others that, to these ears at least, are less than captivating. In other words, it's not for everyone. It should be kept in mind, however, that this commentary is written by someone who believes that when it comes to big-band jazz, a little poetry goes a long way. Others are free to disagree, and indeed may find Pulse quite pleasurable from beginning to end.

Fat Cat Big Band
Meditations on the War
Smalls Records

Meditations on the War is the second of three albums recorded in the summer of 2008 by the New York City-based Fat Cat Big Band whose name derives from the nightclub / entertainment center next to Smalls in Greenwich Village at which it has a regular weekly gig. Recorded and released at the same time (and reviewed last month) was Angels Praying for Freedom, with a third CD still to come. The band is led by guitarist Jade Synstelien who doubles as composer / arranger.

As noted in that earlier review, the FCBB isn't necessarily what one would assume it to be; that is to say that in spite of Synstelien's sometimes outlandish and provocative song titles, he and the ensemble seldom traverse the nether regions of canonical Jazz to champion some esoteric version of "ingenuity." As to those titles, the name of the album (and one of the songs) has been condensed for the purpose of brevity. The complete title is "Meditations on the War for Whose Great God Is the Most High You Are God." If the name is strange, the chart itself isn't, swinging merrily along in an emphatic Israeli / Middle Eastern groove complete with wordless vocal effects. "Meditations" is followed by the moving "Prayer for Unconditional Love," on which tenor saxophonist Tracy Dillard frames one of a number of admirable solos. Alto Sharel Cassity has another on the fast-paced "Never-ending Endeavors," trombonist Jonathan Voltzok is eloquent on the moving "Prayer for Togetherness," and they sparkle in tandem on "F*ck the Man (Please Vote)."

Drummer Phil Stewart, of course, is the sparkplug who ignites the warp-speed "Phil Stewart Figures Out Ofer Landsberg Playin' Charlie Parker Blues," replete with blazing solos by Dillard, Voltzok, Cassity, tenor Geoff Vidal and trumpeters Tatum Greenblatt and Brandon Lee (who share the honors on the picturesque "Please Be Green New Orleans"). Synstelien (praise be) sings only once (well, sort of), and briefly, on "F*ck the Man." The bottom line is, don't be thrown off course by Synstelien's preoccupation with prayer, meditation and other spiritual concepts. Fat Cat is in fact a straight-ahead, swinging "small big band" and its leader a talented composer / arranger. Recommended, as is Angels Praying for Freedom.

Tracks and Personnel

Class of '68

Tracks: The Monster; Two for the Road; Perk Up Jack; Peachy; Medalist; Real Neal; Tempi; Somewhere Along the Way; Is You Is Or Is You Ain't (My Baby); More Than You Know; Waltz This!

Personnel: November 6, 1968: Larry McGuire, Buddy Childers, Gary Barone, Steve Huffsteter: trumpet; Med Flory, Bill Perkins, Lou Ciotti, Bill Hood, Jack Nimitz: reeds; Charlie Loper, Vince Diaz, unknown, Ernie Tack: trombone; Cliff Bryant: piano; Jim Hughart: bass; John Guerin: drums. December 11, 1968: same personnel except Mike Wofford: piano; Jim Trimble, Pete Myers: trombone. January 30, 1969: same personnel as November 6, 1968, except Tom Scott: alto sax; Myers: trombone; Monty Budwig: bass.

When You're Ready

Tracks: When You're Ready; Ballad for Saturday; Let's Settle Down; Felicity; Paris Is for Lovers; Little Right Foot; Nobody's Perfect; Abbey Gale; When Love Is Lost; Keepin' Out of Mischief Now; The Glory of Love; Sir Johnny Comes Swinging Home.

Personnel: Bill Ashton: director; Evan Jolly: composer, arranger, trumpet. Session A (2008): Alex Maynard, Jean-Paul Gervasoni, Ben Dawson, Henry Armburg-Jennings, Freddie Gavita: trumpet; Tommy Laurence, Nathan Hawken, Richard Shepherd, Ben Grossman, Tom Stone: reeds; Jon Stokes, Rob Harvey, Eoghan Kelly, Natalie Witts, Rhys Smith: trombone; Emily Hall: flute; Will Bartlett: piano; Jon Russell: guitar; Paul Michael: bass; Scott Chapman: drums; Lewis Wright, Paul Gregory: percussion; Sarah Ellen Hughes, Atila Huseyin: vocals. Session B (2005): Dan Carpenter, Alex Maynard, Jean-Paul Gervasoni, Rory Simmons, Evan Jolly: trumpet; Simon Meredith, Tommy Laurence, James Arben, Dave Shulman, Richard Shepherd: reeds; Phil O'Malley, Alistair White, Jon Stokes, Mick Marshall, Paul Frost: trombone; Paul Greenwood: flute; Rob Barron: piano; Chris Allard: guitar; Tom Farmer: bass; Richard Barr: drums; Lyndsay Evans: percussion; Lauren Derwent: vocals. Session C (2006): Alex Maynard, Jean-Paul Gervasoni, Evan Jolly, Freddie Gavita, Henry Armburg-Jennings: trumpet; Simon Meredith, Tommy Laurence, Sam Mayne, Dave Shulman, Nik Carter, Richard Shepherd: reeds; Jon Stokes, Tim Smart, Rob Harvey, Natalie Witts, Lewis Edney or Dan West: trombone; Chris Bishop: horn; Paul Greenwood: flute; Will Bartlett: piano; Chris Allard: guitar; Paul Michael: bass; James Maddren: drums; Mark MacDonald: percussion.

Herb-al Remedy

Tracks: Gotcha; Blue Moon; Sweet Georgia Brown; On the 20th of July; Just One of Those Things; Peanut Vendor; Fools Rush In; On Green Dolphin Street; Bluesette; My Silent Love; Deed I Do; Snowfall; Mr. Bentley's Bossa; Crunch M'Can Blues; The Very Thought of You; It Ain't Necessarily So; You Are Too Beautiful; Perdido; We Need a Little Christmas Medley.

Personnel: Vaughn Wiester: leader, trombone; Jim Powell, Bob Larson, Bert Yance, Larry Everhart: trumpet; Jay Miglia: alto sax; Phil Winnard: alto sax, flute; Matt James, Joe Graziosi, John Vermulen: tenor sax; Bob LeBeau: baritone sax; Scott Strohm: French horn; Brian Olsheski, John Hall, Ryan Hamilton, Matt Ellis, Sean Maloney: trombone; Jim Luellen: piano; Larry Cook: bass. (Probably) Derek DiCenzo: guitar; Steve Schaar: drums (only soloists are listed).

Moon Dreams

Tracks: Spanish Dance; Rose of the Rio Grande; The Happy Stranger; Poor Little Rich Girl; Joost at the Roost; Easy Living medley (Easy Living / Moon Dreams / Everything Happens to Me); The Major and the Minor; Yardbird Suite; Lover Man; Brew's Tune; Broadway.

Personnel: Jan Oosthof, Ruud Breuls, Mike Booth, Eric Veldkamp, Ray Bruinsma, Jan Hollander: trumpet; Marco Kegel, Albert Beltman, Hans Meijdam: alto sax, clarinet; John Ruocco: clarinet; Ab Schaap: tenor sax, clarinet; Simon Rigter: tenor sax, flute; Nils van Haften: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Janine Abbas, Friederike Darius: flute; Rene Pagen, Roel Koster, Morris Kliphuis: French horn; Martien de Kam: tuba; Martijn Sohier, Ilja Reijngoud, Hans Jorg Fink: trombone; Rob van Bavel: piano; Martijn van Iterson: guitar; Jan Voogd, Jos Machtel (5): bass; Eric Ineke, Marcel Serierse (5): drums.

Edge of the Mind

Tracks: Breaking Point; Edge of the Window; Slide Therapy; Chuck n' Jinx; The Radiance of Spring; Rhythm of the Mind; My Star; Ives, Eyes; BMT.

Personnel: David Schumacher, J.C. Sanford: composer, conductor; Bud Burridge, John Hines, John Bailey, David Smith: trumpet, flugelhorn; Dan Willis: alto, soprano sax, flute; Eric Rasmussen: alto sax, clarinet; Chris Baca: tenor, soprano sax, clarinet; Ben Kono: tenor sax, bass clarinet; Dave Riekenberg: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Mark Patterson, Alan Ferber, Lolly Bienenfeld: trombone; Chris Olness: bass trombone; Andrew Green: guitar; Deanna Witkowski: piano; David Ambrosio: bass; John Hollenbeck: drums; Kate McGarry (5): voice.

Doin' the Best Deeds

Tracks: Where or When; Road to Uncertainty; Jeanine; Chips and Salsa; Cherokee; My Foolish Heart; Pedalogy; 2nd Race; What Is Hip; Georgia; Forget Regret; Wiggle Walk.

Personnel: Jazz Band: Tom Peters, Karl Blackwood, Dustin Williams, Matthew Mooney, Jennifer Munsey: trumpet; Michelle Christiansen, Sam Solano: alto sax; Jon Vancura: tenor sax; Billy Gaechter: tenor sax, vocals; Samantha Dickinson: baritone sax; Sean Wyatt, Heidi Aispuro, Emily Kerridge, Spencer Didlake: trombone; Solomon Thelin: guitar; Sam Hirsh: piano; Ross Davis: bass; Mitch Wilson: drums; Nancy King: vocals. Jazz Combo A: Sam Hirsh: piano; Ross Davis: bass; Mitch Wilson: drums. Jazz Combo B: Michelle Christiansen: alto sax; Samantha Dickinson: flute; Heidi Aispuro: trombone; Aaron Byers: guitar; Luke Tarter: piano; Eric Wheeler: bass; Jon Vancura: drums.


Tracks: Having Built in Deeper Water; Pulse; Mississippi Ecstasy, Movement 1; Mississippi Ecstasy, Movement 2; Mississippi Ecstasy, Movement 3; Tunnel Vision; North South; Black Rattle; A Time of Reckoning.

Personnel: Dan Cavanagh: composer, arranger, piano, Hammond B3; John Adler, Scott Harrell, Ken Edwards, Alcedrick Todd, Rick Stitzel: trumpet; Tim Ishii, Randy Hamm, Ed Peterson, Steve Owen, Glenn Kostur: reeds; Steve Wiest, Jonathan Woodrow, Steven Dunn, Matt Ingman: trombone; James Miley: piano; Dave Hagedorn: vibes; Brian Mulholland: bass; Stockton Helbing: drums; Jim Yakas: percussion; Timothy Young: poetry, narration.

Meditations on the War

Tracks: Samantha Swing; Prayer for Togetherness (Kimana); Phil Stewart Figures Out Ofer Landsberg Playin' Charlie Parker Blues; Togetherness / No Self; F*ck the Man (Please Vote); I Did Nothing to Lose You; Meditations on the War for Whose God Is the Most High; Prayer for Unconditional Love; Never-ending Endeavors; Prayer for Compassion; Please Be Green New Orleans.

Personnel: Jade Synstelien: composer, arranger, guitar, vocals; Tatum Greenblatt, Brandon Lee: trumpet; Sharel Cassity: alto sax; Stacy Dillard, Geoff Vidal: tenor sax; Jonathan Voltzok: trombone; Max Seigel: bass trombone; Jack Glottman: piano; Ben Meigners: bass; Phil Stewart: drums.

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