333

Millenial Territory Orchestra: We Are MTO

Tom Greenland By

Sign in to view read count
Millenial Territory Orchestra: We Are MTO The Millennial Territory Orchestra, the lovechild of leader/arranger/slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein, is back with its sophomore release, We Are MTO, a typically boisterous romp through middle-Americana. Starring the same dramatis personae as its debut, the band is an unwieldy cast of character actors, strong individualists all capable of stealing the scene on any given song.

Inspired by his researches for the film Kansas City, Bernstein continues to foment and signify on the sound of early '20s jazz with cuts like Cecil Scott's "In A Corner," The Chocolate Dandies' "Paducah" and Preston Jackson's "It's Tight Jim"; other vintage covers include the Count Basie/Lester Young classic "Dickie's Dream" and Fats Waller's "The Reefer Song (If You're a Viper)." Bernstein's arrangements include catchy horn hits, spidery solos and beefy chorale textures that make adroit use of the little-big band instrumentation. Bernstein, clarinetist Doug Wieselman and trombonist Clark Gayton are masters of the classic New Orleans-inspired tradition of simultaneous soloing, not merely imitating the style, but bringing it to life with heartfelt bravura. Equally interactive, violinist Charles Burnham and saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum speak in a more modern dialect, with a heavy accent of avant-psychedelia.

At a December 2, 2008 live gig at one of the last nights of jazz at New York's Knitting Factory, the band mixed oldies ("St. Louis Blues" and "In a Corner") with tunes representing the other side of its musical personality, an amalgam of country, soul and blues, represented by Ray Charles' "It Makes No Difference Now," "America the Beautiful" and The Band's "Jemima Surrender." Bernstein's burlesque persona and charismatic "conductions" spurred his band mates to ever greater hijinks, mixing free blowing intros with tightly swinging ensemble sections and animated improvisations.

Track Listing: We Are MTO; In a Corner; Makes No Difference; All You Need Is Love; Paducah; Dickie's Dream; Viper Song; It's Tight Jim.

Personnel: Steven Bernstein: trumpet, slide trumpet; Clark Gayton: trombone; Charles Burnham: violin; Doug Wieselman: clarinet, tenor saxophone; Peter Apfelbaum: tenor and soprano saxophones; Erik Lawrence: baritone and soprano saxophones; Matt Munisteri: guitar, vocal; Ben Allison: bass; Ben Perowsky: drums; Doug Wamble: guitar, banjo and vocal (6, 7).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: MOWO! Inc. | Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing


Shop

More Articles

Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Innate CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read The Seasons CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Planets + Persona CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read avantNOIR CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Black Orpheus" CD/LP/Track Review Black Orpheus
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "Return" CD/LP/Track Review Return
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Father Figure" CD/LP/Track Review Father Figure
by David A. Orthmann
Published: May 8, 2016
Read "Like, Strange" CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Mata Hati" CD/LP/Track Review Mata Hati
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Kansas City Here I Come" CD/LP/Track Review Kansas City Here I Come
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 10, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!