110

Monday Night Jazz Orchestra: Monument -- Our Favorite Songs

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Monday Night Jazz Orchestra: Monument -- Our Favorite Songs
Let’s face it, the U.S. patent on Jazz, big–band or otherwise, has run its course. Nowadays, ensembles from all over the world are not only the equal of ours, they are in some cases superior. I’ve recently heard a number of outstanding bands from Europe and at least three from far–away Japan including the enormously talented Monday Night Orchestra, which has as much to recommend it as any big band I’ve chanced upon lately except in the area of memorable soloists. On Monument, recorded in December ’93, the orchestra opens with “Swingin’ Night,” written by Shinji Okano (who must be one of Sammy Nestico’s most ardent admirers). It sounds almost more Basie–like than Basie himself, right down to the spare Basie–style piano intro and the walking Freddie Green–inspired rhythm guitar, as do the band’s scrupulous treatments of Frank Foster’s “Shiny Stockings” and Basie’s own “One O’Clock Jump.” In a similar vein are two numbers popularized by Harry James, “Trumpet Blues” and “You Made Me Love You” (with an unidentified trumpeter setting forth an admirable impression of James on the former). The orchestra’s muscular version of Tom Kubis’s definitive arrangement of “When You’re Smiling” is the most impressive I’ve heard since the Kubis band first performed it on the album Slightly Off the Ground. Among the soloists (all of whom are unnamed, at least in English), the tenor saxophonist on Henry Mancini/Johnny Mercer’s “Days of Wine and Roses” and guitarist on Victor Young/Ned Washington’s “Stella by Starlight” easily win the highest marks. The band’s female vocalist (also anonymous) is heard on “Hallelujah, I Love Him So,” “Just Squeeze Me” and “Am I Blue.” She’s not bad, although it’s clear that English isn’t her basic means of communication.The orchestra also offers admirable readings of Horace Silver’s “Sister Sadie,” Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night in Tunisia” and the Burke/Van Heusen standard “Moonlight Becomes You.” Recording quality is excellent as is the playing time of 68:32. Some of the Monument Orchestra’s favorite songs may be yours as well (several of them are on my short list), and you’ll seldom hear them played any more persuasively than this.

Track listing: Swingin’ Night; When You’re Smiling; Moonlight Becomes You; Shiny Stockings; Hallelujah, I Love Him So; Sister Sadie; You Made Me Love You; Just Squeeze Me; Trumpet Blues; The Days of Wine and Roses; Stella by Starlight; Am I Blue; A Night in Tunisia; One O’Clock Jump. (68:32).

Personnel

M. Takahashi, H. Fujiwara, T. Hatori, N. Teruki, trumpet; T. Fukuzawa, T. Noguchi, H. Kawamatsu, M. Kobayashi, K. Aihara, trombone; M. Sasaki, H. Iseki, S. Suzuki, S. Murase, H. Takahashi, reeds; Y. Kimura, piano; F. Aoki, guitar; T. Nagashima, bass; Y. Hirano, drums; H. Yamamota, vocals.

Contact: Fumitaka Aoki, e

Album information

Title: Monument -- Our Favorite Songs | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: DCI

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Tales From The Jacquard
Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra
Dreamer
Pamai Chirdkiatisak
Music Room 1985
Wayne Krantz
Tumaini
Berta Moreno Afro-Jazz Soul Project
Stories
Roni Ben-Hur
Prometheus
Nikol Bókóva
Thunda
Noah Preminger

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.