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I had never heard of the Summit Jazz Orchestra from Germany until I stumbled upon them while surfing the Net. Not surprising, considering that the American media would have you believe great jazz exists only in that country and often ignores talent outside its borders. Well, it doesn’t and it does! The 17-piece Summit Jazz Orchestra was formed in 1997 by bass trombonist Christian Sommerer. Originally, the band met once a month to play in a German club but as the group matured they began touring jazz venues and concert halls not only in Germany, but France and Switzerland as well. This is a young, brash, exciting big band, loaded with fine soloists. On Moods Of A Cat they energetically work out on a number of innovative, “home-grown” charts, as well as two by American trombonist Bob Brookmeyer. Moods Of A Cat is an attractively packaged, well-recorded big band treat that should please jazz fans everywhere. To order, visit the SJO Web site at: www.edition-collage.de. ####
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.