2

TJI Ellington Big Band: Things to Come

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
TJI Ellington Big Band: Things to Come To accentuate the positive, the ten-year-old Ellington Big Band, flagship ensemble of the Tucson (AZ) Jazz Institute, established its credentials by earning first-place honors twice (2010, 2012) in Jazz at Lincoln Center's annual Essentially Ellington competition, and has been named best Performing Arts High School Jazz Band by DownBeat magazine. On the heels of these honors, the band displays its muscle and savvy on Things to Come, a wide-ranging anthology of jazz and popular standards that have stood the test of time.

Doug Tidaback, who has directed the Ellington Big Band since its inception, is understandably proud of its achievements, which have raised it to the forefront among student ensembles. The band doesn't let him down here, slicing through Benny Carter's "Rompin' at the Reno," Count Basie / Eddie Durham's "Swingin' the Blues," Ellington's "Happy Go Lucky Local" and Dizzy Gillespie's chops-busting "Things to Come" with power and panache. One question that arises is, with a band that talented, why squander so much precious time on run-of-the-mill vocals? Robbie Lee, a competent pianist, is no better than passable as a singer on "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "New York, New York," trumpeter Gavin Tidaback even less so on "I'll Be Seeing You" (hang onto that trumpet, Gavin). To further muddy the waters, Lee and Tidaback "sing" (and scat) on Gillespie's "Oop Bop Shabam."

Clearly, the instrumental tracks (there are six) hold the stronger hand, starting with the buoyant "Reno" and proceeding through those already named, as well as Ellington's "Sunset and the Mockingbird." Max Goldschmid, the band's resident jack-of-all-trades, solos on alto sax and trumpet on "Reno," alto again on "Swingin' the Blues," clarinet on "I'll Be Seeing You" and "Sunset," alto on "Oop Bop Shabam" and "Local," tenor on Bubber Miley's "Everything in Its Right Place," trumpet, tenor and trombone on "Things to Come." Other soloists of note are pianists Lee and Grant Cherry, trumpeters Tidaback and Omar Lincoln, trombonist Sam Chess, tenor Alan Acosta, alto Sean Johnson and vibraphonist Ryland Mandish. The rhythm section is in good hands with bassists Jeff Sandberg or Zach Levine, guitarist Shane Hurtado and drummers Mandish or Tim Rachbach.

In sum, a persuasive enterprise by a first-rate ensemble that could have been even more engaging with more band, less vocals. Definitely worth checking out.

Track Listing: Rompin’ at the Reno; I’ve Got You Under My Skin; Swingin’ the Blues; I’ll Be Seeing You; Oop Bop Shabam; Sunset and the Mockingbird; New York, New York; Happy Go Lucky Local; Everything in Its Right Place; Things to Come.

Personnel: Doug Tidaback: director; Gavin Tidaback: trumpet, vocal (4); Omar Lincoln: trumpet; Dominic Muller: trumpet; Jacob Rose: trumpet; Graham Place: trumpet; Max Goldschmid: trumpet, trombone, alto sax, tenor sax, clarinet; Valeria Ornales, Alan Acosta, Aubrey Martin, Sergio Tabanico, Julianne Colwell: saxophones; Sam Chess: trombone; Drew Sheets: trombone; Jacob LaBar: trombone; Furey Starrat: trombone; Johnathon Black: trombone; Robbie Lee: piano, vocals (2, 5, 7); Grant Cherry: piano; Shane Hurtado: guitar; Jeff Sandberg: bass; Zach Lavine: bass; Tim Rachbach: drums; Ryland Mandish: drums, vibes.

Title: Things to Come | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Cave Art" CD/LP/Track Review Cave Art
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Alom Mola" CD/LP/Track Review Alom Mola
by John Eyles
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "Through The Hours" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Hours
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "Knock A Hole In It" CD/LP/Track Review Knock A Hole In It
by James Nadal
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "A Tribute to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers" CD/LP/Track Review A Tribute to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 9, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.