77

The 3rd Coast Jazz Orchestra: Unknown Soldiers

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
For those who may have been wondering, the 3rd Coast borders Texas (it’s often referred to as the Gulf of Mexico) — and the Unknown Soldiers celebrated on this album, according to music director Rick Lawn, are those many heroes around the country “who are toiling on any given night to keep Jazz alive and enjoying every minute of it,” even though, as he shrewdly observes, none of them are to be found in the Grove Dictionary of Jazz and may never have their efforts recognized in any lasting way. Lawn, a professor at the University of Texas School of Music in Austin, wrote all of the charts and every song but one (Bird’s “Donna Lee”). Guest baritone Tony Campise and the orchestra’s sure–fingered sax section sparkle on that one, as does guitarist Mitch Watkins on the colorful title selection. Lawn numbers such modernists as Bob Brookmeyer, Vince Mendoza, Jim McNeely, Maria Schneider and the late Manny Albam among his role models, and draws on each for inspiration in a wide–ranging program that includes compositions prompted by John Coltrane (“Trane of Thoughts”), Kenny Wheeler (“Mother Nature”) and the band Steps Ahead (“This Point in Time”). There’s also a buoyant concerto grosso for quintet and orchestra (“Out on a Limb”), an adventurous wedding of Jazz and classical music (“Boundaries”) and a movement taken from a four–part dance suite (“Chasing After Dreams”). Lawn and the orchestra end on a high note with “Newk Meets the President,” which imagines a meeting between two of the last century’s most influential Jazz saxophonists, Lester Young and Sonny Rollins, and deftly combines elements of Young’s “Lester Leaps In” with Rollins’ breezy calypso, “St. Thomas.” As commander–in–chief, Lawn is no doubt pleased to have well–disciplined troops in every platoon, from brass to winds to rhythm, as well as a number of sharp–shooting soloists including tenor saxophonist Elias Haslanger, alto Steven Vague, drummer Mike Koenning and pianist Steve Snyder (“Trane of Thoughts”); trumpeter Bob Meyer (“Mother Nature”); Snyder, Koenning, tenor John Mills and trumpeter Pat Murray (“Out on a Limb”); Snyder and bassist John Fremgen (“This Point in Time”); Snyder, Koenning, Meyer and tenor Paul White (“Chasing After Dreams”); Koenning and trombonist Randy Zimmerman (“Newk Meets the President”). Unknown Soldiers, yes, but battle–ready and able to master any challenge.

Contact:Sea Breeze Records, P.O. Box 1910, Pismo Beach, CA 93448–1910. Phone 818–489–2055.


Track Listing: Trane of Thoughts; Mother Nature; Donna Lee; Unknown Soldiers; Out on a Limb; At This Point in Time; Boundaries; Chasing After Dreams; Newk Meets the President (73:55).

Personnel: Rick Lawn, music director, composer, arranger; Eric Johnson, Pat Murray, Keith Winking, Bob Meyer, Paul Armstrong (2), Chip Crotts (5, 7), trumpet, flugelhorn; Greg Wilson, Steven Vague, alto, soprano sax, flute; John Mills, Elias Haslanger (1, 2, 6, 8), Paul White (3

| Record Label: Sea Breeze Jazz | Style: Big Band


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 "Two Hands, One Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Two Hands, One Heart
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Wee +3" CD/LP/Track Review Wee +3
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder
by Doug Collette
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Oblique Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review Oblique Mirrors
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Free World Music" CD/LP/Track Review Free World Music
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Jinja" CD/LP/Track Review Jinja
by James Nadal
Published: February 11, 2017

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!