All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


The United States Air Force Band: Veterans of Jazz

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
Many famous U.S. jazz musicians served in the armed forces. This ingenious Airmen of Note project celebrates them by presenting a program of music composed by (or associated with) several of those musical veterans. Even a cursory look at the track list shows that taking the repertoire solely from military veterans is no limitation. Original compositions include Cedar Walton's "Ojos de Rojo," Percy Heath's "One Bass Hit," Wayne Shorter's "Footprints," Bill Evans' "Very Early," Joe Henderson's "A Shade of Jade," and Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way."

Using tunes associated with artists allows for the inclusion of Great American Songbook standards, further broadening the stylistic range. So Tony Bennett is saluted with Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek," Julian "Cannonball" Adderley with Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Happy Talk," John Coltrane with "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," and Chet Baker with "The Thrill is Gone" (the standard, not the B.B. King hit of the same name). "Cloudburst" is a special case: dedicatee Jon Hendricks wrote only the lyrics, but it's strongly associated with him, especially the famous Lambert, Hendricks & Ross recording.

It's surprising that Adderley and Coltrane are not represented by original compositions, since that is what both saxophonists are best known for; and Coltrane's iconic standard performance would have to be Rodgers and Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things." But if some of the choices seem a bit of a stretch, there's no denying the energetic, utterly convincing arranging and playing throughout. Vocalist Paige Wroble is a particular standout, and I suspect some of the song choices were made primarily to feature her. She's pitch-perfect: never overdramatizes, and can even scat (which is also not overdone).

The entire big band's playing is sharp as a tack. And most of the arrangements come from the pens of band members, as well. The trombone section is especially well represented, with two each from Ben Patterson and Jeff Martin. A fine example of this sterling ensemble's work.

Track Listing: Ojos de Rojo; One Bass Hit; Cheek to Cheek; Footprints; Happy Talk; The Night Has a Thousand Eyes; The Thrill is Gone; Very Early; A Shade of Jade; Cloudburst; In Your Own Sweet Way.

Personnel: Brian MacDonald, trumpet; Kevin Burns, trumpet; Luke Brandon, trumpet; Tim Leahey, trumpet; Ben Patterson, trombone; Jeff Martin, trombone; Kevin Cerovich, trombone; Ben Polk, bass trombone; Tyler Kuebler, alto saxophone; Mike Cemprola, alto saxophone; Tedd Baker, tenor saxophone; Grant Langford, tenor saxophone; Doug Morgan, baritone saxophone; Steve Erickson, piano; Geoff Reecer, guitar; Cameron Kayne, bass; David McDonald, drums; Paige Wroble, vocals.

Title: Veterans of Jazz | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: United States Air Force Band Recordings


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Veterans of Jazz

Veterans of Jazz

United States Air Force Band Recordings


Related Articles

Read The Questions CD/LP/Track Review
The Questions
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Meerkat Parade CD/LP/Track Review
Meerkat Parade
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2018
Read The Poetry of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review
The Poetry of Jazz
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 20, 2018
Read The Unknowable CD/LP/Track Review
The Unknowable
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Like A Radio CD/LP/Track Review
Like A Radio
by Doug Collette
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Live In Healdsburg CD/LP/Track Review
Live In Healdsburg
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 19, 2018
Read "Mogoya" CD/LP/Track Review Mogoya
by James Nadal
Published: May 14, 2017
Read "The Great Nostalgist" CD/LP/Track Review The Great Nostalgist
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 10, 2018
Read "Western Edges" CD/LP/Track Review Western Edges
by John Sharpe
Published: July 2, 2017
Read "Chapter Five" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Neko" CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "Songs of Experience: Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Songs of Experience: Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: February 10, 2018