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Resonance Big Band / Sammy Nestico-SWR Big Band / Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra / Alf Clausen Jazz Orchestra


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Resonance Big Band
Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson
Resonance Records

First things first: there will never be another Oscar Peterson. Period. Even so, there are others who come remarkably close to retracing his legendary footsteps. Fellow Canadian Oliver Jones is one, Romanian-born Resonance Big Band another. It is the virtually unknown thirty-something Petrescu who undertakes the awesome task of sitting in for OP on the Resonance Big Band's CD, Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson. "Oscar Peterson was my favorite pianist since I was young," Petrescu writes. "And I think he is still the best of all time." How does Petrescu fare as OP's surrogate? Listen for yourself and be amazed.

Arnold van Kampen, Peterson's close friend (and liner-note writer for this album), found Petrescu on YouTube a couple of years ago, in clips from a recording produced by George Klabin of Resonance Records. Klabin was so impressed by the young pianist that shortly after Peterson died in December 2007, he got in touch with Petrescu, who was living in Finland, and persuaded him (it wasn't difficult, as OP was one of Petrescu's musical heroes) to record a big-band tribute to Peterson. Klabin hired an orchestra comprised of many of the L.A. area's leading jazz musicians, hired topnotch conductor / arrangers including Klaus Ogerman (who had recorded with Peterson), chose the music and set a recording date.

The tribute consists of eleven numbers (a dozen if one counts the medley of "Hymn to Freedom" / "John Brown's Body"), five by Peterson, the traditional folk song "Greensleeves," and compositions by Rodgers and Hart, Lalo Schifrin, Henry Mancini, Oscar Pettiford and Leonard Bernstein (a second medley, this one from West Side Story). While Petrescu, as one would expect, handles most of the solos (and does so admirably), there are brief statements by an unnamed alto (Brian Scanlon?) on "I Feel Pretty," by two trombonists (most likely Andy Martin and Bob McChesney) on "John Brown's Body," by guitarist Andreas Oberg on "Greensleeves," and by Oberg and drummer Joe La Barbera on Peterson's "Bossa Beguine." La Barbera, bassist David Arkenstone and the ensemble are quite impressive (as indeed they are throughout) on West Side Story. Petrescu exits in style with a masterful restatement (sans orchestra) of Peterson's finger-busting "Little Jazz Exercise."

Before closing, mention must be made that the CD comes with a bonus DVD, a "behind the scenes" look at the making of Plays Tribute, which in its way is almost as engaging as the album itself. The DVD is narrated by Klabin and one of the arrangers, pianist Bill Cunliffe (the others are Ogerman ["Sally's Tomato"] and Kuno Schmid). A bit too much talking and not quite enough music perhaps, but some absorbing insights from Cunliffe make it worth watching, and it's nice to see the band weeding out the blemishes at rehearsal. If there's a weakness in the CD—and it's a minor one—it is that Petrescu's piano is a tad too much in the foreground, to the detriment of the ensemble. But once one adapts to that, the rest is smooth sailing and a marvelous tribute to the incomparable Oscar Peterson. We'll not see his like again.

Sammy Nestico / SWR Big Band
Fun Time
Haenssler Classic

Any time that Sammy Nestico is teamed with a big band is Fun Time, and swing time as well. That's especially true when the band in question is one of the world's foremost jazz ensembles, Germany's sterling-silver SWR Big Band, comprised of many of that country's blue-ribbon musicians (plus one American expat, trumpeter Don Rader, and a second, trombonist Ian Cumming, who's from either Canada or Great Britain).

The ideally named Fun Time encompasses fifteen of Nestico's sunny compositions and / or arrangements, every one of which embodies the sort of snappy and engaging ripostes one would expect from a true master of his craft. Surprisingly, none of these themes sounded familiar, which may mean that Nestico continues at age eighty-five to write typically brilliant big-band charts. Eleven of the compositions (and all of the arrangements) are his; the numbers he didn't write are jazz classics—"Struttin' with Some Barbecue," "Not Really the Blues," "Bye Bye Blues" and "King Porter Stomp." In his perceptive liner notes, Nestico writes that at least three of his originals—"Fun Time," "Rare Moment," "The Four of Us" (originally "You n' Me")—were written some years ago. The others, presumably, are of more recent vintage.

Of course, if writing for a big band, it's always good to have a helpmate as talented as the SWR ensemble whose interpretations of Nestico's notes on paper are consistently unsullied. The sectional give-and-take is impressive, the various soloists clever and charming. And as is always the case with the SWR's recordings, production values are superb, the playing time an exceedingly generous 76:50. Speaking of soloists, Rader (trumpet on "Not Really the Blues" and "King Porter," flugel on "D'Ann" and "Rare Moment") is one of the frontrunners. The fluent pianist Klaus Wagenleiter is featured on the picturesque "Song for Sarah" [Vaughan], the trombone section (with bassist Decebal Badila) on "The Four of Us." Others who embrace the moment include alto Klaus Graf, tenors Andi Maile and Axel Kuhn (flute on "Orchids and Butterflies"), trumpeter Karl Farrent, lead trombonist Marc Godfroid, baritone Pierre Paquette (clarinet on "Barbecue") and guitarist Klaus-Peter Schopfer. There's even a dapper bassoon solo by guest artist Libor Sima on Nestico's amiable "New Day," one of two selections (thanks to technical support) on which two "bands" play simultaneously (the other is "Bye Bye Blues"). Drummer Guido Joris, who has replaced Holger Nell, anchors the band's sure-handed rhythm section.

Even though Nestico abides securely on canonical big-band turf, plowing no new ground, Fun Time is exactly that, an unreservedly upbeat and pleasurable voyage from end to end. The album marks Nestico's third collaboration with the WDR Big Band, and the inescapable verdict is that they make a wonderful team.

Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra
Where or When
Owl Studios

According to Brent Wallarab, when he and Mark Buselli formed the Indianapolis-based Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra in 1994, their idea "was that of an entirely instrumental group." Then along came baritone Everett Greene. "There are many competent vocalists who aspire to sing with a big band," Wallarab writes in the liner notes to Where or When, "but artists like Everett are one in a million." And so it is that Greene is the singer of record on eight of thirteen selections on the B-WJO's newest CD, with guest vocalist Cynthia Layne featured on three others.

Whether Greene is "one in a million" is debatable; what isn't is that he's an excellent singer, his mellow yet resonant voice reminiscent of such other class acts as Johnny Hartman, Ernie Andrews, Andy Bey and Billy Eckstine. Greene, whose phrasing and rhythmic awareness are near-flawless, is definitely a pleasure to hear, which can't be said about many big-band vocalists. Layne is another gem. Any quarrel about her inclusion is not with Layne but with the choice of her material ("L-O-V-E," "Avalon," "Teach Me Tonight"). While none is distasteful, neither are they anywhere near the lofty benchmarks set by "My Romance," "Where or When," "I'll Be Around," "This Can't Be Love," "My Foolish Heart" or Greene's other showcases. The impression lingers that he's been given the main course, Layne the leftovers. On the other hand, Layne digests admirably whatever is on the table, leaving no cause for displeasure.

There are two instrumentals—Benny Carter's "Wonderland," Vincent Youmans / Billy Rose's "More Than You Know"—the first featuring Buselli's flugelhorn and tenor Rob Dixon, the second Wallarab's trombone. The ensemble lies midway between a small group and big band, using two trumpets, two trombones, bass trombone, three saxophones, French horn and rhythm section. Its makeup (and most of the charts), Wallarab writes, were "influenced somewhat by the ensembles of [sic] Mary Paiche" (a.k.a. Marty Paich). Wallarab arranged everything but "Teach Me Tonight" (Buselli) and "My Foolish Heart" (Jason Miller).

As big-band albums with vocalists go, Where or When stands head and shoulders above many others, thanks in large measure to the singular artistry of Greene and Layne. The B-WJO's partnership with Greene has been remarkably successful. Even so, we'd welcome a return to the all-instrumental concept by an exemplary ensemble that clearly deserves its place in the sun.

St. Johns River City Band
Silver Threads
Self Published

Silver Threads denotes growing older only in the sense that it marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Northern Florida's foremost large jazz ensemble, the St. Johns River City Band, which is many seasons removed from being past its prime. Formed in 1984 by Ira Koger, the non-profit SJRCB is comprised of professional and part-time musicians from the Jacksonville area and beyond. In 1985, the band was named Jacksonville's Official Band, and in 1992 Florida's Official Band by order of the state legislature.

That's a lot to live up to, but if Silver Threads is a measure of its talent, the honors have been well-earned. Even though the band plays it safe in this concert from September 2008, relying exclusively on well-known popular and big-band staples, everyone meshes well together and furnishes an unwavering backdrop for the ensemble's personable vocalist, Lisa Kelly, who is heard on five of eleven numbers. The band is directed by trombonist Chris Creswell who's a member of the section but takes no solos.

Those who do (solo, that is) include trumpeter J.B. Scott, tenors Don Zentz and Rob Chapman, clarinetist Bill Prince, pianist Doug Matthews and bassist Farris Nix. Scott, who heads the jazz ensemble at the University of North Florida, is impressive whether muted ("Take the 'A' Train") or open (Neal Hefti's "Li'l Darlin'"). Prince, who plays almost every instrument known to man, is showcased on "It Had to Be You," Zentz on "Little Brown Jug" and the band's cordial bow to its neighbor to the north, Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia," which rings down the curtain.

Kelly, who formerly sang with the UNF Jazz Ensemble, springs buoyantly onstage, singing and scatting on Lerner and Loewe's carefree "Almost Like Being in Love," and is heard again on "Li'l Darlin,'" the Gershwins' "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Summertime," Fats Waller's "Honeysuckle Rose" and Frank Foster's "Shiny Stockings." "Someone," on which Kelly plays a few wee games with the lyrics, includes its lovely opening verse.

Silver Threads serves as an abridged yet fairly honest appraisal of the present state of the SJRCB, which is doing its share to keep the big-band spirit alive in Northern Florida. The wish is that the band will still be blowing up a storm when the time comes for these premature Silver Threads to turn golden.

European Jazz Orchestra
Swinging Europe 2008
Music Mecca

Each year since 1996 the European Union (EU) has sponsored "Swinging Europe," a two-pronged enterprise consisting of the European Jazz Orchestra and the Trainee Band. The EJO, comprised of Europe's (and Canada's) best and most talented young musicians (the upper age limit is thirty), travels for three weeks each summer through a number of European countries, playing music composed and arranged especially for the orchestra by European artists, one of whom is chosen on a yearly basis to lead the ensemble. In 2008, the conductor / composer was Germany's Neils Klein, a modernist guided by the precepts of Gil Evans, Bob Brookmeyer, Maria Schneider and a number of classical composers, among others. The music, of course, embodies Klein's forward-leaning perspective.

Faced with such a daunting task, the seventeen musicians from fifteen European countries (two are from Germany, lead alto Tara Davidson from Canada) never blink, deftly untangling Klein's knotty themes as if doing so were second nature. Klein knew he could expect no less, as he had been a member of the EJO's reed section as recently as 2005. The opener, "Two Circles," comes straight from the Brookmeyer playbook, developed, in Klein's words, "from one short melody statement and a small harmonic structure. The title of the piece refers to the way this 'harmonic cell' is constructed." The admirable solos are by tenor Kristian Brink, trombonist Fidel Fourneyron and drummer Matt Jacobson.

The brooding "Iyosaii," inspired, Klein writes, by a trip to Iceland and songs in "a language that doesn't exist," features trumpeter Elvind Nordset Lenning and the leader himself on tenor sax. "The 14th Voyage," showcasing Petr Kalfus' lyrical alto sax, is "loosely based on an episode in the 'Star Diaries' of Stanislaw Lem," while "the basic idea of 'Progression,'" Klein writes, "was to create a simple chord progression which seems to have no beginning and no end." Interspersed are evocative solos by bassist Robert Landfermann, tenor Jure Pukl and trombonist Andreas Tschopp. "Sky Lift," designed as "the 'soundtrack' to a short story of that name by [science fiction writer] Robert Heinlein," aims the spotlight toward Pukl's strident tenor and Quentin Liegois' mellow guitar.

"Kvapraba," written for a concert in Cologne, is "a kind of odd combination of Swedish and German," writes Klein. The abstruse theme is enhanced by drummer Jacobson, trombonist Antonis Andreou and pianist Alexandru Racovitza. The finale, "Tanzlied," is, "contrary to what the title might imply ('tanzlied' means 'dance-song'), a musical setting of the powerful dark poem 'Mein Tanzlied' by German lyricist Else Lasker-Schuler." One should have foreseen that it would not be dance music. The soloists are trumpeter Lenning, trombonist Tschopp, bassist Landfermann and baritone Kasper Wagner. Although the booklet indicates that every number was recorded in concert, there is no audience response or applause at the end of "The 14th Voyage."

The EJO's complexion will change dramatically in 2009 as Rumanian-born composer / arranger Peter Herbolzheimer, known for his plain-spoken Rhythm Combination and Brass and his commendable stewardship of BuJazzO, Germany's leading youth ensemble, supervises the orchestra. Those whose musical temperament leans toward the straight-ahead may wish to pause and await a credible record of that excursion.

Alf Clausen Jazz Orchestra
Swing Can Really Hang You Up the Most
Sunny NoDak Records

Alf Clausen, who has earned a comfortable living composing and arranging for a number of Hollywood television series and variety shows (The Simpsons, Moonlighting, The Critic, Police Story, The Donny and Marie Show, among others), has loved big-band music since he was a teenager living in his native North Dakota. Several years ago Clausen took time out from his hyper-active schedule to assemble his own Jazz Orchestra, comprised essentially of first-call Hollywood studio musicians, to record ten of his bright, lyrical and effervescent charts. Clausen wrote all of the tunes save the finale, Tom Wolf / Fran Landesman's classic, "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," molded by Clausen into an engaging samba.

A trio of Clausen's compositions—"Captain Perfect," "Trollin' for Thadpoles," "A Pair of Threes"—is dedicated to one of his musical heroes, the late trumpeter / bandleader Thad Jones. "Lookin' for the Back Door" recalls the sadly missed North Hollywood Jazz club, Donte's; "Samba de Elencia" was inspired by the early bossa nova and samba works written by Gary McFarland; and the three-movement "Alf's Festival Suite: In Memoriam," whose playing time is more than twenty-four minutes, is a colorful and warm-hearted salute to composers McFarland, Duke Ellington and Oliver Nelson.

Every member of the ACJO is not only a superior section player but a proficient soloist as well, and Clausen gives most of them one or more chances to stretch out and brandish their remarkable chops. Trumpeter Bob Summers, a personal favorite, enters muted on "Captain Perfect" and "Thadpoles" before opening up on "Brief Encounter," "A Final Farewell" and "Spring." Section mate Warren Luening enlivens "Back Door" and "A Pair of Threes." Brian Scanlon's plaintive alto is featured on "Feelin' So Blue," his soulful soprano (with pianist Mike Lang) on "Ballad for Gary." Dan Higgins' lithe soprano is center stage on "Captain Perfect," his bustling alto on "Encounter" and "Farewell." Trombonist Andy Martin adds a typically mind-blowing solo on "Tadpoles," complementing Summers, Lang, tenor Bob Sheppard and drummer Bernie Dresel, while baritone Bob Efford is a standout on "Back Door" and (with Luening and bassist Ken Wild) on "Threes." Tenor Terry Harrington and trombonist Bob McChesney burn hand-and-valve on the breezy "Samba de Elencia." The rhythm section (Lang, Wild, Dresel, amplified on three tracks by percussionist Lenny Castro), is exemplary, as is the trumpet section, efficiently supervised by Chuck Findley.

Even though Swing Can Really Hang You Up was recorded more than a few years ago, the album is presumably still in print and available. Seek it out before it vanishes forever from the radar screen. It's well worth the time and effort.

Woody Herman
The Great Soloists, 1945-1958
Blue Flame Records

Here's an interesting concept, at least on paper: redeem a number of rarely-heard selections by the swinging Woody Herman Herds spanning a thirteen-year period (1945-58) and showcase some of the "great soloists" whose artistry enriched Herman's bands and helped make him a household name during the swing era. In theory, a splendid idea; in practice, somewhat less so. The problem lies not with the Herds or their soloists but with the recordings, which were extracted for the most part from air checks or live sessions whose sound quality leaves much to be desired. In some cases the surface noise and imbalances are so troublesome that they stamp out any pleasure that would otherwise have been derived from the listening experience.

To compound the predicament, the review copy does not include the booklet with its "eight pages of liner notes and photos," only a tray that lists the songs and arrangers but not the soloists. Rather penny-wise and pound-foolish, as it is difficult to write a review when blindfolded. It's possible, however, to identify a number of soloists by ear. While space won't allow a track-by-track summary, Herman's leading men probably include saxophonists Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Serge Chaloff, Wardell Gray, Richie Kamuca and (perhaps) Herbie Steward; trombonists Bill Harris, Earl Swope and (maybe) Frank Rehak or Carl Fontana; trumpeters Shorty Rogers and Conte Candoli, bassist Chubby Jackson, drummer Dave Tough and Woody himself on clarinet or alto sax. Piano players are harder to identify.

Turning to the play list, there's almost nothing here that most Herman fans won't have heard, perhaps even hundreds of times. Closer to the point, far more palatable recordings of each selection are available elsewhere, even if not on the same disc. The Great Soloists is for completists only; others are advised to look elsewhere for more agreeable Herman recordings.

Citrus College
Time Was...
Citrus College Jazz

At one of the poolside concerts given during a big-band event sponsored by the L.A. Jazz Institute, the Citrus College Jazz Ensemble was quite impressive. Director Robert Slack was kind enough to send three CDs for review, the earliest of which, Time Was..., subtitled "A Tribute to the Big Bands," was recorded in 1996.

The songs, Slack writes, are among the ones most requested during the ensemble's weekly dinner-dance appearances at the Candlelight Pavilion in Claremont, which began in 1993. They include themes associated with Benny Goodman ("Sing, Sing, Sing," "A String of Pearls"), Glenn Miller ("Pennsylvania 6-5000"), Duke Ellington ("Take the 'A' Train"), Count Basie ("Shiny Stockings"), Judy Garland ("Over the Rainbow") and the Andrews Sisters ("Rum and Coca-Cola"). There are updated arrangements of "Overture / Sing, Sing, Sing," "Over the Rainbow" and Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" by Bill Liston, "'A' Train" by Sammy Nestico and "Stardust" by Ted Heath.

Seven of the nine selections are instrumentals. Dulcet-voiced Melissa Stewart does her best to fill Garland's enormous ruby slippers on "Over the Rainbow" (complete with verse) and teams with Stacy Stilz and Nicole Vinzant on the frothy "Rum and Coca-Cola." Even though these tunes are so dog-eared as to approach redundancy, the ensemble is still impressive, and there are engaging solos along the way by trumpeters Jason Basoco, Gino Munoz and James De La Garza (featured on "Stardust"), alto Dan Silva, pianist Allen Everman, drummer George Bryant ("Sing, Sing, Sing") and an unnamed tenor on "Pennsylvania 6-5000." One blatant drawback lies in the disc's playing time, less than thirty-five minutes, which may have been borderline acceptable in 1996 but no longer. Even so, an earnest and well-played tribute to the big bands of the 1930s, 1940s and beyond.

Tracks and Personnel

Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson

Tracks: Waltzing Is Hip; L'Impossible; Little Girl Blue; Down Here on the Ground; Medley: Hymn to Freedom / John Brown's Body; Sally's Tomato; Tricotism; Greensleeves; Bossa Beguine; West Side Story medley; A Little Jazz Exercise.

Personnel: Marian Petrescu: piano; Willie Murillo, Larry Lunetta, Bob Summers, Larry Hall: trumpet, flugelhorn; Bob Sheppard, Steve Wilkerson, Brian Scanlon, Keith Fiddmont, Tom Peterson: reeds; Andy Martin, Bob McChesney, Wendell Kelly: trombone; Bill Reichenbach: bass trombone; Andreas Oberg: guitar; David Stone: bass; Joe La Barbera: drums; Pierre Paul (6): cabasa; Peter Kent, Giovanna Clayton, Belinda Broughton, Jessica Van Velzen (3, 8): string quartet.

Fun Time

Tracks: Blue Samuel; A New Day; A Pair of Aces; Out of the Night; D'Ann; Fun Time; Celebracion; Struttin' with Some Barbecue; Orchids and Butterflies; Not Really the Blues; The Four of Us (You 'n Me); Rare Moment; Bye Bye Blues; A Song for Sarah; King Porter Stomp.

Personnel: Sammy Nestico: composer, arranger, music director; Felice Civitareale, Frank Wellert, Don Rader, Karl Farrent, Rudi Reindl: trumpet, flugelhorn; Klaus Graf: alto, soprano sax, flute; Steffen Weber: alto sax, flute, piccolo flute, alto flute; Axel Kuhn: tenor sax, flute, alto flute; Andi Maile: tenor sax, clarinet, alto flute; Pierre Paquette: baritone sax, clarinet, bass clarinet; Marc Godfroid, Ernst Hutter, Ian Cumming: trombone; Georg Maus: bass trombone; Klaus-Peter Schopfer: acoustic, electric guitar; Klaus Wagenleiter: acoustic, electric piano; Decebal Badila: acoustic, electric bass; Guido Joris: drums, percussion. Guest artist—Libor Sima: bassoon.

Where or When

Tracks: My Romance; Where or When; L-O-V-E; Watch What Happens; I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face; Wonderland; I'll Be Around; This Can't Be Love; Avalon; My Foolish Heart; More Than You Know; Teach Me Tonight; My Funny Valentine.

Personnel: Brent Wallarab: co-leader, conductor, arranger, trombone; Mark Buselli: co-leader, trumpet, flugelhorn; Jeff Conrad: trumpet, flugelhorn; Mike Stricklin: alto, soprano sax, flute; Rob Dixon: tenor sax; Tom Meyer: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Loy Hetrick: trombone; Richard Dole: bass trombone; Celeste Holler-Seraphinoff: horn; Luke Gillespie: piano; Jack Helsley: bass; Bryson Kern, Deno Sanders: drums; Everett Greene, Cynthia Layne: vocals.

Swing Can Really Hang You Up the Most

Tracks: Captain Perfect; Just Feelin' So Blue; Trollin' for Thadpoles; Lookin' for the Back Door; Samba de Elencia; Brief Encounter; Ballad for Gary; A Final Farewell; A Pair of Threes; Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most.

Personnel: Alf Clausen: composer, arranger, conductor; Gary Grant, Charley Davis, Warren Luening, Chuck Findley, Bob Summers: trumpet, flugelhorn; Dan Higgins: alto, soprano sax, flute, piccolo; Brian Scanlon: alto, soprano sax, flute; Bob Sheppard, Terry Harrington: tenor sax, clarinet, flute; Bob Efford: baritone sax, bass clarinet, flute; Bob Payne, Andy Martin, Bob McChesney: trombone; Alan Kaplan: bass trombone; Mike Lang: piano; Ken Wild: bass; Bernie Dressel: drums; Lenny Castro (5, 8, 10): Latin percussion.

Silver Threads

Tracks: Take the "A" Train; It Had to Be You; Almost Like Being in Love; Someone to Watch Over Me; Honeysuckle Rose; Shiny Stockings; Li'l Darlin'; Little Brown Jug; It Might as Well Be Spring; Summertime; Georgia.

Personnel: J.B. Scott, Jim Malmgren, Tommy Osborne, Ace Martin, Jim Justice: trumpet; Don Zentz, Nat Michelson, Bill Prince, Rob Chapman, Joe Yorio, Kim Yorio: reeds; Clarence Hines, Marc Dickman, Bill Hazlett, Chris Creswell, Charlie Propper: trombone; Doug Matthews: piano; James Hogan: guitar; Farris Nix: bass; Clyde Connor: drums; Lisa Kelly: vocals.

Swinging Europe 2008

Tracks: Two Circles; Iyosaii; The 14th Voyage; Progression; Sky Lift; Kvapraba; Tanzlied.

Personnel: Niels Klein: composer, arranger, conductor; Christoph Moschberger, Elvind Nordset Lonning, Konstantins Jemeljanovs: trumpet; Tara Davidson, Petr Kalfus: alto sax; Kristian Brink, Jure Pukl: tenor sax; Kasper Wagner: baritone sax; Fidel Fourneyron, Adreas Tschopp, Antonis Andreou: trombone; Bernhard Neumaier: bass trombone; Quentin Liegois: guitar; Alexandru Racovitza: piano; Robert Landfermann: bass; Matt Jacobson: drums.

The Great Soloists 1945-1958

Tracks: Blue Flame; Red Top; The Good Earth; Northwest Passage; Four Brothers; Tiny's Blues; The Goof and I; Yucca; Keeper of the Flame; Not Really the Blues; Stardust; Apple Honey; Sonny Speaks; More Moon; Mother Goose Jumps; Sleepy Serenade; Medley: Moonglow / You've Got Me Crying Again; Autobahn Blues; Moten Swing; I Cried for You; Woodchoppers Ball; Apple Honey; Blue Prelude.

Personnel: Woody Herman: leader, conductor, alto sax, clarinet, vocals. Other personnel unlisted.

Time Was . . .

Tracks: Overture / Sing, Sing, Sing; Pennsylvania 6-5000; Anything Goes; Take the "A" Train; Stardust; Rum and Coca-Cola; A String of Pearls; Over the Rainbow; Shiny Stockings.

Personnel: Robert Slack: director; James De La Garza, Gino Munoz, Jason Basoco, Max Shanter, Mauricio Centeno: trumpet; Dan Silva, Steve Judkins, Jason Powell, Wade Watkins, Derryk Ludwing: woodwinds; Brad Pey, Doug Reid, Mike Ditta, Mike Howden, Tim Younghans: trombone; Allen Everman: piano; Corey McCormick: guitar, banjo; Darren Plies: bass; George Bryant, Ken McGrath (7): drums; Joe Cheek: drums (2), percussion; Johnny Everman: drums (5), percussion; Nathan Campbell, Ronn Kaufmann: French horn; Pavel Farkas, Yarda Kettner, Nicole Bush, Gail Cruz Farkas, Robert Peterson, Zheng Wang: violin; Ray Tischer, Jing Yu-Lou: viola; John Acosta, Kevin Plunkett: cello.

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