Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

239

The Swiss Jazz School Orchestra: Shades of Time

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Five years have passed since last I saw and heard the Swiss Jazz Orchestra in New York City, and this latest album (there is at least one other, Live in Montreux, that I know of) serves as a welcome reminder of what an outstanding ensemble it is. The SJSO, ably directed by world-class trumpeter Bert Joris, has devised a provocative game plan this time around, using a different professional soloist on each of the album’s nine selections, starting with Joris himself on his own rip-snorting composition, “Kong’s Garden.”

Except for vibraphonist Silvano Bazan, who performs Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler’s “Get Happy,” and vocalist Sandy Patton (Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood”), the other guest artists perform their own compositions as well. Joris is followed by alto saxophonist and SJS director George Robert (“A Day in Paris”), guitarist Francis Coletta (“Surfin’ on the Neck”), acclaimed tenor saxophonist Andy Scherrer (“Second Step”), Patton, Bazan, pianist William Evans (“Sundance”), organist Günter Kühlwein (“Old Times”) and trombonist Robert Morgenthaler (“On the Move”). Although Bazan is listed before Patton on the booklet and tray, his vibes feature actually follows her vocal.

The SJSO has a number of able soloists of its own, including alto saxophonist Till Grünewald (“Surfin’ on the Neck”), tenor Dirk Oesch (“Sentimental Mood”) and guitarist Lorenzo Herrnhut (“On the Move”). But it is the ensemble as a whole that impresses most thoroughly, carrying out its assignments with the sort of energy and élan that ensures the highest level of comfort for each of its prominent guests. While the rhythm sections vary from track to track, that doesn’t seem to make any difference, as the orchestra charts a steady course no matter who is at the helm.

If I lean slightly toward the selections by Joris, Robert, Coletta, Scherrer and Bazan, that is no more than personal preference, as everything on the album is more than agreeable. A splendid orchestra with (invited) soloists to match.


Track Listing: Kong

Personnel: Stefan Geiser, Johannes Walter, Thomas Knuchel, Lukas Th

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: TCB Music | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Umbrella Weather CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Born In An Urban Ruin CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs) CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Duet" CD/LP/Track Review Duet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "Woodclock" CD/LP/Track Review Woodclock
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Monte Alban" CD/LP/Track Review Monte Alban
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Eastern Smiles" CD/LP/Track Review Eastern Smiles
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Free for One" CD/LP/Track Review Free for One
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "Like a Bird or Spirit, not a Face" CD/LP/Track Review Like a Bird or Spirit, not a Face
by John Eyles
Published: March 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!