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BIG BAND REPORT

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 2-4

Read "Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 2-4" reviewed by Simon Pilbrow

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival “Woodchoppers' Ball" Four Points by Sheraton at LAX Los Angeles, CA May 23-27, 2018 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Concert 4: Keen and Peachy: Music of the Woody Herman Second Herd -Directed by Michael Berkowitz Woody Herman's Second Herd was one of the most exciting bands of early modern jazz, and achieved a high level of performance as it ...

BIG BAND REPORT

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival "Big Band Spectacular" 2017, Part 3-4

Read "Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival "Big Band Spectacular" 2017, Part 3-4" reviewed by Simon Pilbrow

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival Big Band Spectacular LAX Westin Hotel Los Angeles, CA May 24-28, 2017 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Saddleback Jazz Combo The young Saddleback five piece jazz combo featured a tenor and baritone sax frontline, with a rhythm section of guitar, electric bass and and a fine young drummer. They presented a loose set of Real Book 1950s-60s ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Scott Whitfield: New Jazz Standards, Volume 2

Read "New Jazz Standards, Volume 2" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On New Jazz Standards, Volume 2 (yes, the title may seem a tad optimistic at first glance; more about that later), trombonist Scott Whitfield leads a well-honed quartet playing the music of Carl Saunders. If the name Carl Saunders is new to you, he is quite simply one of the finest jazz trumpeters you've never heard--and he may well be one of the best composers too. As for Whitfield, Saunders' personal choice to preside over this album, he is one ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Scott Whitfield: Speaking of Love

Read "Speaking of Love" reviewed by Jim Santella

Coated with sugar and filled with swing, Speaking of Love offers a blast from the past as Scott Whitfield scat sings with the enthusiasm of Mel Tormé, introduces a vocal quartet that recalls the Four Freshmen, teams with guest artists Cheryl Bentyne, Bucky Pizzarelli, Marvin Stamm, Memo Acevedo and Scott Robinson, and adds lovely trombone melodies to enhance the romance.

Through original songs and memorable standards, Whitfield brings an upbeat message of good cheer to the forum. His ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Scott Whitfield Quintet Featuring Bob Florence: Live at Charlie O's

Read "Live at Charlie O's" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Besides leading two big bands, one on either coast, trombonist Scott Whitfield has put together a killer quintet that gigs regularly in the Los Angeles area and whose energy and enthusiasm come through loud and clear on this enjoyable concert date taped at Charlie O's nightclub in North Hollywood.

Whitfield's special guest on this happy occasion is another bandleader of note, Bob Florence, who divides time at the keyboard (four tracks apiece) with John Rangel. In terms of technique, tastefulness ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra East: Diamonds for Nat

Read "Diamonds for Nat" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Throughout much of his musical career, trumpeter Nat Adderley was overshadowed by his larger-than-life sibling, the legendary alto saxophonist Julian “Cannonball Adderley. But Nat was a giant in his own right, not only as a player but also as a composer. (Does “Work Song ring a bell?) Nat also went out of his way to nurture younger musicians, among whom was trombonist Scott Whitfield. “Nat was my friend, my mentor, says Whitfield, “and truly a model to which we should ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra East: Diamonds for Nat

Read "Diamonds for Nat" reviewed by Jim Santella

Nat Adderley gave us music that has feeling. It reaches deep inside and touches something. As former members of his sextet, Scott Whitfield and Vincent Herring honor the trumpeter and composer with this session of lively big band arrangements. “Work Song and “Jive Samba may be Adderley's greatest songs, but Diamonds for Nat offers much lot more. How can we ever forget the wit and the unique manner with which Nat Adderley could interpret a tune?

Howard Johnson ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra West: The Minute Game

Read "The Minute Game" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If I had to choose between trombonist Scott Whitfield's Jazz Orchestra East and Jazz Orchestra West--well, I'd probably go off the deep end before I could make up my mind, or what was left of it. I loved the SWJO East's Live at Birdland (Summit, 2004), and now comes the SWJO West to blow me away with the first 28 minutes of The Minute Game.

Why the first 28? Well, that's a matter of personal taste, and isn't meant to ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra East: Live at Birdland

Read "Live at Birdland" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Note to myself: file this album under “P” for “Pleasant Surprises.” I must confess that I knew nothing about Scott Whitfield except that he plays trombone, so I had no idea what to expect from his Jazz Orchestra East, whose concert performance at New York City’s Birdland night spot was recorded on Whitfield’s fortieth birthday, March 10, 2003. What I got was far more than anticipated or even bargained for—better than an hour of exhilarating deep-in-the-pocket contemporary jazz by an ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra East: Live at Birdland

Read "Live at Birdland" reviewed by Jim Santella

His featured solo on 'Laura' gives you a pretty good idea of what trombonist Scott Whitfield is all about. With a polished tone and fluid technique, he interprets the lovely ballad with care and a natural ease. His effective use of the instrument's upper register stands out as a tool for the display of his lyrical side. The trombone, after all, makes a perfect partner for sharing a love of pure melody. Slow and easy, the familiar tune wafts over ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra East: Live at Birdland

Read "Live at Birdland" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Say hooray for straight-ahead big band music. Trombonist Scott Whitfield breezed through NYC’s Birdland March 10, 2003 and these are the recorded results. First, the lion’s share of the disc’s nine compositions are uniquely Whitfield’s own. Not trying to plow new fields, Mr. Whitfield plays with a post-swing era 1950s style that is very accessible and pleasant to listen to. A gentle swing pervades this recording, even on the faster, more upbeat pieces. Mr. Whitfield’s trombone style is understated and ...


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