Blue Wisp Big Band – Tribute – SeaBreeze Jazz

by | Sep 6, 2007 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Blue Wisp Big Band – Tribute – SeaBreeze Jazz SMJ-2145, 66:17 ****:

Big bands aren’t known for traveling around much nowadays, and this one is stuck in Cincinnati, but big band fans around the world can hear them via this fun live CD. It’s a 16-member aggregation and plays every Wednesday night at the jazz club for which it is named.  They had a previous release on the same label.

The arrangements are shared by two band members, pianist Phil DeGreg and Alan Foust, a New York musician. There are two originals from a British source, Frank Griffith, and the reason for the Tribute album titles is the list of top names for some of the 11 tunes: Horace Silver (he gets two), Frederick Loewe, Joe Henderson, Bill Strayhorn & Ellington, George Gershwin and Freddie Hubbard. The choices avoid the obvious and explore less often heard tunes; for example the Strayhorn/Ellington Daydream and Horace Silver’s Serenade. The arrangements are sparkling and the players thoroughly professional. The band swings madly, there are no vocals, and the sound can’t be knocked.  Dig it!

TrackList: Sweet Georgia Brown, Strollin’, Holland Park, The Heather on the Hill, Step Lightly, Urgency, Silver’s Serenade, Daydream, Ricochet, Little Sunflower, Soon

 – John Henry

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