Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

211

Blue Wisp Big Band: Tribute

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
A legendary regional ensemble from Cincinnati, the Blue Wisp Big Band has, for the last twenty-five years, performed every Wednesday evening at the famed Blue Wisp Jazz Club in Cincinnati, owned and operated by Marjean Wisby until her passing in August 2006. The album pays Tribute to the memory of the late owner and also celebrates the music of jazz giants, among them Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson and Billy Strayhorn.

Having been around for a quarter of a century this big band knows how to play and does so with the same fire that has led them to record five acclaimed albums over the years. The musicians are seasoned pros with twelve of the sixteen players being original members.

Recorded live at its new location on East 8th Street in downtown Cincinnati, these old timers, who can obviously still play, crank out eleven swinging tunes and seem to have a blast doing so.

Paying homage to some jazz legends, the band performs two Silver compositions with "Strollin' and "Silver's Serenade, the Henderson chart "Step Lightly, Strayhorn's "Daydream, and Hubbard's "Little Sunflower.

British composer/arranger Frank Griffith contributes two blue chip charts with "Holland Park, and "Ricochet, while Cincinnati pianist Phil DeGreg includes another original, "Urgency. Special arrangements were provided by band members, trombonist Paul Piller, saxophonist Larry Dickson and New York arranger Alan Foust.

The music is lively and buoyant, including a slew of sturdy solos from various players. The music bolts out of the gate with the energetic opener "Sweet Georgia Brown and rumbles through the set in brassy fashion, continuing with Silver's "Strollin' and ending with George Gershwin's "Soon, showcasing arranger Piller on the bones and Herb Aronoff on tenor.

Other dazzling solos on this album come from pianist Steve Schmidt, trumpeter Al Nori, alto saxophonists Jim Sherrick and Mike Andres, baritone saxophonist Larry Dickson, tenor saxophonist Joe Gaudio, bassist Michael Sharfe and drummer John Von Ohlen.

This is the kind of big band music that aficionados of the genre can appreciate and love to hear often. Tribute demonstrates just why the Blue Wisp Big Band is still around and producing some of the finest orchestrations you'll hear anywhere.

Containing world-class horn players and bolstered by a superlative rhythm section, this group has established a reputation that extends far beyond Cincinnati and will hopefully keep them playing for years to come.


Track Listing: Sweet Georgia Brown; Strollin'; Holland Park; The Heather On The Hill; Step Lightly; Urgency; Silver's Serenade; Daydream; Ricochet; Little Sunflower; Soon.

Personnel: Mike Andres: alto and soprano saxophone; Jim Sherrick: alto saxophone; Herb Aronoff: tenor saxophone; Joe Gaudio: tenor saxophone; Larry Dickson: baritone saxophone; Jeff Folkens: trumpet, Kevin Moore: trumpet; Hank Mautner: trumpet; Al Nori: trumpet; Paul Piller: trombone; Clarence Pawn: trombone: Jeff Owen: trombone; Gary Langhorst: bass trombone; Steve Schmidt: piano; Michael Sharfe: bass; John Von Ohlen: drums.

Title: Tribute | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Sea Breeze Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Ranky Tanky" CD/LP/Track Review Ranky Tanky
by James Nadal
Published: August 13, 2017
Read "Telepathy & Bop" CD/LP/Track Review Telepathy & Bop
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Heart Knows" CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Chicago II" CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Leon" CD/LP/Track Review Leon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 11, 2017

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!