122

Jabbo Ware and The Me We & Them Orchestra: Vignettes in the Spirit of Ellington

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
28 years into their existence, James Jabbo Ware and The Me We & Them Orchestra recorded their first live album, which has just been released. What is time to the muse that was inspired by Duke Ellington? Days, months, and years flit by, but the music stays timeless.

The ten tunes here make up the context. Ware does not need a lengthy outing to make his statement, and so they're mostly compact—except for the last selection, which gets an extended workout of over 24 minutes. But he breaks it up into sections, each a sketch that pins its own form but nevertheless forms an integral part of the whole—as are the strings and the French horns that were brought aboard for this performance.

On the first track, the yawning arc of the saxophone is countenanced by the smooth underlying lines of the French horn, a trajectory that comes up front later after the bass marimba provides a brief interlude. The lines shift constantly, the segments added through parallel movement and dialogue. The dispersal of form and a cacophonous whirl lead into "Strange Land, but even as calm descends and the strings move in, dissonance persists.

A loping line on the bass is the herald for the piano and the blues when they get "In The Spirit Of. There is no hard guessing as to whose spirit is being made manifest. Ellington's mark is here: in the arrangements, in the way the horns come in, in the whole piece of work. And for sure, the title tune is top notch!

There's more blues on "Don't Forget Who I Am, the opening fanfare followed by Hilton Ruiz's ruminations on the form, then silence broken by the interjection of Bill Lowe's bass trombone. The arrangement keeps the thematic concept evolving, the trumpets creating facile lines with just a hint of a wail, plus some wah wah and growl bringing in added stimulus. A perfect close to a fine record.


Track Listing: Intro #1 (In The Beginning); Strange Land; And Here we are again; Interlude; Saint Louis Train; Give Me A Moment; In The Spirit Of; Intro #2 (Free At Last); The Ultimate Force; Don

Personnel: J.D. Parran: alto saxophone, clarinet: Paavo Carey: tenor saxophone, flute; Salim Washington: tenor saxophone; Patience Higgins: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Eddie Allen, Cecil Bridgewater, Chris Albert: trumpets; Clifton Anderson, Richard Harper: trombones; Bill Lowe: bass trombone, tuba; Marshall Sealy, Mark Taylor: French horns; Gwendolyn Laster, Carolos Baptiste: violins; Crystal Garner, Melanie Dyer: violas; Clarissa Howell, Nioka Workman: cellos; Leon Dorsey, David Moore: double bass; Hilton Ruiz: piano; Warren Smith: drums; Thurman Barker: percussion; James Jabbo Ware: conductor.

Title: Vignettes in the Spirit of Ellington | Year Released: 2005


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis" CD/LP/Track Review Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Landed in Brooklyn" CD/LP/Track Review Landed in Brooklyn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Parts Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review Parts Unknown
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 6, 2017
Read "Tributango" CD/LP/Track Review Tributango
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 18, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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