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David White Jazz Orchestra: The Chase

Karl Ackermann By

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Some of the same high school kids that we're jamming with composer/arranger/trombonist David White more than fifteen years ago still occupy a space alongside newer faces in his New York based jazz orchestra. Tradition and transition are very much at the core of White's approach to progressive swing. White continues to express his unique style of progressive swing on his sophomore release The Chase. Like his debut Flashpoint (Self-Produced, 2007), The Chase pushes instrumental boundaries while paying just enough respect to convention.

White's democratic process allows his band mates plenty of spotlight time. The traditional swing opening of "Mister Shepherd's Misadventures" is quickly possessed by blistering solos from saxophonist Sam Dillon and trumpeter Miki Hirose. "And The People Could Fly" incorporates a bluesy element and standout work from pianist Nick Consol and trumpeter Pablo Masis. "The Sweetest Bite of Cherry" slows the pace down initially while saxophonist Sam Taylor and drummer Ryan Cavanaugh create a palpable tension, agitating for greater acceleration.

White himself takes a rare turn at soloing on the cinematic "Persistence," serving a reminder that his skills include being a fine player. White is one among five trombonists in the ensemble and another, David Reitz, gets to show his chops on "The Shakedown." Alto player Andrew Gould offers prominent performances on both of the aforementioned pieces. Yet another trombonist, Rick Parker, and alto saxophonist Omar Daniels get their chance to shine on the mid-tempo closer "Blues for Sally Draper."

While White deliberately places the solos in these tightly arranged pieces, they unfold spontaneously and have an organic improvisational feel. This seamless integration of swing and improvisation give White's original compositions a captivating quality. The rejuvenated condition and status of big band music has been intimately tied to a handful of modern-day composers among which White is prominent. He is a musical activist encouraging risk without tormenting the music to accomplish the task. White continues to grow as a ground-breaking composer and a forceful orchestrator.

Track Listing: Mister Shepherd’s Misadventures; And The People Can Fly; The Sweetest Bite of Cherry; Persistence; The Shakedown; Blues for Sally Draper.

Personnel: David White: music director, composer, trombone; Andrew Gould: alto saxophone; Omar Daniels: alto saxophone; Sam Taylor: tenor saxophone; Sam Dillon: tenor saxophone; Tim Stocker: baritone saxophone; Miki Hirose: trumpet; Colin Brigstocke: trumpet; Alicia Rau: trumpet; Pablo Masis: trumpet; Rick Parker: trombone; Dan Reitz: trombone; Aliana Alster: trombone; Rob Stattel: bass trombone; Nick Consol: piano; Phil Rowan: bass; Ryan Cavan: drums.

Title: The Chase | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Mr Shepherd Records

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