2

Rodger Fox Wellington Jazz Orchestra: The Capitol Sessions

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Rodger Fox Wellington Jazz Orchestra: The Capitol Sessions In July 2012, trombonist Rodger Fox brought his Wellington Jazz Orchestra all the way from New Zealand to Los Angeles to record at the famed Capitol Studios, thus confirming Fox's confidence in the ensemble—one doesn't undertake a trip like that accompanied by musicians whose talents are less than exemplary—while producing an album that is superlative from start to finish, underlining the fact that splendid big bands can be found these days in every corner of the world.

Those who haven't heard the WJO are in for a pleasant surprise, beginning with John Fedchock's buoyant "Brazilian Fantasy" and continuing through the expansive finale, Bill Cunliffe's picturesque "Jimi." Besides writing "Jimi," Cunliffe arranged Count Basie's venerable "One O'Clock Jump," Duke Ellington's irrepressible "Rockin' in Rhythm" and Fox's brother (and lead trombonist) Christopher Fox's "Roger with a 'D.'" Fedchock, meanwhile, arranged Ellington's "Just Squeeze Me" (on which Rodger Fox is featured). Matt Harris composed and arranged the funky "Top Daddy," Pete Jackson the scampering "Left Bank Express." Colin Hemmingsen's lyrical "Song for Louise" (nicely arranged by Jeff Driskill) is a showcase for the author's expressive tenor saxophone.

Fox also brought his longtime vocalist, Erna Ferry, who is heard on four numbers: "Honeysuckle Rose," "Maxine," "Love of My Life" and Ellington's "Ain't Got Nothin' But the Blues," the last three arranged by Driskill. The blues is clearly Ferry's bag, and she uses her strong mid-range voice to emphasize the point, meanwhile faring equally well on her lone ballad, "Love of My Life." There's one other woman in the ensemble, pianist Anita Schwabe, who solos brightly on "One O'Clock Jump" and "Top Daddy." Other soloists of note include soprano / alto saxophonist Alex Nyman, tenor Mike Isaacs, baritone Andre Paris, trumpeter Alexis French and guitarist Nick Granville. Drummer Lance Philip anchors the band's efficient and hard-working rhythm section (Schwabe, Granville, bassist Nick Tipping).

As any decent stand-up comic might say, the New Zealand-to-Los Angeles excursion was "a long way to go for the punch line"—but in this case, at least, it was well worth the trip. A smashing session, admirably recorded at the Capitol Studios. Two thumbs way up.


Track Listing: Brazilian Fantasy; One O’Clock Jump; Top Daddy; Just Squeeze Me; Song for Louise; Rockin’ in Rhythm; Honeysuckle Rose; Maxine; Love of My Life; Ain’t Got Nothin’ But the Blues; Roger with a “D”; Left Bank Express; Jimi.

Personnel: Rodger Fox: leader, music director, trombone; Alexis French: trumpet, flugelhorn; Sebastian Soldrzynski: trumpet, flugelhorn; Jon Papenbrook: trumpet, flugelhorn; Ben Hunt: trumpet, flugelhorn; Chris Selley: trumpet, flugelhorn; Alex Nyman: alto, soprano sax, flute; Hayden Hockly: alto sax, flute; Colin Hemmingsen: tenor sax, clarinet; Mike Isaacs: tenor sax; Andre Paris: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Christopher Fox: trombone; Dean Scott: trombone; Damian Forlong: trombone; Kurt Gibson: bass trombone; Andrea Schwabe: keyboards; Nick Granville: guitar; Nick Tipping: bass; Lance Philip: drums; Erna Ferry: vocals (7-10).

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Ia (independent Artists) | Style: Big Band


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Disappearing Day" CD/LP/Track Review Disappearing Day
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Centreline Theory" CD/LP/Track Review Centreline Theory
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Right Where I Need to Be" CD/LP/Track Review Right Where I Need to Be
by Jim Olin
Published: June 6, 2016
Read "Happy Madness" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Madness
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Dobbeltgaeenger" CD/LP/Track Review Dobbeltgaeenger
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: June 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!