268

The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Big Band: Things to Come

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Big Band: Things to Come So who needs the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band anyway? Jon Faddis, whose whose widely acclaimed CHJB has been shown the door by the powers that be (its last concert will be presented this month at the Hollywood Bowl), has landed on his feet—and how!—as music director of the aptly-named Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Big Band. If Things to Come, recorded live in September 2000 at Pittsburgh's Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, can be taken as a measure of the band's proficiency, Faddis has simply moved laterally from one remarkable ensemble to another. There are times when the term "all-star" is misused, but this isn't one of them. I don't know how Faddis, or whoever, managed to herd all these talented cats onto one bandstand but I'm enormously pleased that it was done. The hardest task the leader faced on Things to Come must have been deciding who was to solo, as almost everyone in the band (not excepting Faddis himself) is a superlative improviser. The trumpet section—Faddis (sounding more and more like the legitimate heir to Diz's throne he was always meant to be), Earl Gardner, Greg Gisbert, Terell Stafford, Claudio Roditi—is to die for, as is the reed section, which boasts veteran Frank Wess and young lion Antonio Hart on alto, household names James Moody and Jimmy Heath on tenor, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra mainstay Gary Smulyan on baritone. Slide Hampton leads a robust trombone section that includes Jay Ashby and David Gibson with Douglas Purviance on bass trombone. And we mustn't overlook the band's awesome rhythm section, enlivened by pianist Renee Rosnes, anchored by drummer Dennis Mackrel, rounded out by guitarist Marty Ashby, percussionist Duke and bassist / program director John Lee. The program Lee chose for this concert is beyond reproach, encompassing four songs with Dizzy's name as author or co-author, three Jazz classics by Benny Golson, the Hammerstein / Romberg standard "Lover Come Back to Me" and buoyant compositions by Quincy Jones ("Jessica?s Day") and the recently departed and already greatly missed Ray Brown ("Ray's Idea"). Faddis, the most frequently heard soloist, is showcased with Mackrel on "Lover," Stafford on Golson's "I Remember Clifford," Roditi and Heath on "Ray's Idea." Rosnes, who commands center stage half a dozen times, is consistently sharp and resourceful, and there are persuasive comments along the way by Hart, Moody, Wess, Hampton and both Ashbys, trombonist Jay and guitarist Marty. When all is said and done, there's nothing about this album I didn't earnestly embrace and appreciate. It's rather like listening to a more heated version of Wynton Marsalis's Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Contact: Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, 1815 Metropolitan St., Pittsburgh, PA 15233. Phone 412?322?1773, xt. 140. Web site, www.mcgjazz.org


Track Listing: Stablemates; Jessica's Day; Things to Come; 'Round Midnight; Manteca; Lover Come Back to Me; Emanon; Whisper Not; I Remember Clifford; Ray's Idea; A Night in Tunisia (70:15).

Personnel: Jon Faddis, music director, conductor, trumpet; Earl Gardner, Greg Gisbert, Terell Stafford, Claudio Roditi, trumpet; Antonio Hart, alto sax; Frank Wess, alto sax, flute; Jimmy Heath, tenor sax; James Moody, tenor sax, flute; Gary Smulyan, baritone sax; Slide Hampton, Jay Ashby, David Gibson, trombone; Douglas Purviance, bass trombone; Renee Rosnes, piano; Marty Ashby, guitar; John Lee, bass; Dennis Mackrel, drums; Duke, percussion.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: MCG Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Verde" CD/LP/Track Review Verde
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Wisdom Of Elders" CD/LP/Track Review Wisdom Of Elders
by James Nadal
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Mo' Puddin'" CD/LP/Track Review Mo' Puddin'
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 24, 2016
Read "Rehab Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Rehab Reunion
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Alameda Gardens" CD/LP/Track Review Alameda Gardens
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "Aritmia" CD/LP/Track Review Aritmia
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 23, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!