Academic journal article Notes

Westchester Jazz Orchestra

Academic journal article Notes

Westchester Jazz Orchestra

Article excerpt

Westchester Jazz Orchestra. All In. WJO, 2007.

Big bands have a tough row to hoe these days. Venues are limited, touring is almost prohibitively expensive, good arrangers are hard to come by, and popular tastes never came back around after the bebop revolution of the 1940s with its preponderance of small combos. So when a good big band arises it is always wise to welcome and nurture it. The Westchester Jazz Orchestra (WJO) is a very good big band, and its debut album is impressive--though it does leave a certain amount of room for growth. The WJO's strength is exactly where it should be: in the arrangements (many by its own members, one by artistic director Mike Holober) and in its ensemble sound, which is lush and complex but also nimbly swinging. The ensemble writing by trumpeter Tony Kadleck on Joe Henderson's "Caribbean Fire Dance," and Pete McGuinness's lovely arrangement of Horace Silver's classic ballad "Peace" are especially impressive; the band plays with joyful verve on the former and sweet introspection on the latter. …

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