Another concert review moved over from Suite101.com to here. The Calgary Jazz Orchestra performed big band versions of Christmas classics and Frank Sinatra hits to a full house December 18, 2011 at River Park Church.
Nostalgia, fun and music marked the January 30, 2011 jazz concert by the Calgary Jazz Orchestra concert, featuring top pop songs, VG music and movie music. Another concert review brought over from Suite101.com
The Calgary Jazz Orchestra launched its 2010-11 season with The Music of Charles Mingus and Oscar Peterson on September 26, 2010. Originally published on Suite101.com .
Lively music and exciting solos were on the programme at the Calgary Jazz Orchestra's first concert for the 2012/13 season. This concert took place on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at the River Park Church in Calgary, Alberta. The William Aberhart Jazz Ensemble, directed by Kevin Willms took to the stage first, performing three numbers. The first was "Hay Burner" by composer and big band arranger, Sammy Nestico, a mid-tempo number.
This was followed up with Duke Ellington's "Pyramid", which is a medium, Latin-influenced number. This featured some lovely solos on trombone, clarinet, tenor sax, trumpet and bari sax.
The jazz band wrapped up with "Groovin' Hard" by Don Menza. This upbeat swing number featured solos on drums, tenor sax, piano and guitar.
The Calgary Jazz Orchestra Performs the Music of the Adderley Brothers
The jazz ensemble opened the first set with "Hayseed". This lively number featured solos by Gerry Hebert on saxophone, Kim Beachum on trumpet, Egor Ukoloff on piano and Brian Walley on trombone. A highlight was when Jeremy Brown (saxophone) and Greg Baker (drums) were trading fours.
Another highlight wasn't listed on the programme. The late addition was "Tenderly", arranged by pianist Egor Ukoloff. It was performed by Egor Ukoloff, Jeremy Brown, Johnny Summers, Kodi Hutchinson and Greg Baker.
Egor Ukoloff opened with a Gershwin-esque introduction, complete with rolls and waves of blues chords and arpeggiated patterns. A sensitive presentation of the "head" was delivered by Johnny Summers on trumpet and Jeremy Brown. Jeremy's lines were quite varied, one moment, lyrical and wavy and the next, marcato as the melody grew.
In contrast, Johnny's lines were softer with tender motifs that mimicked the murmurings between lovers. This gradually ave way to a more rhythmic part as the rhythm section led the transition to the piano solo.
Egor's featured rhythmic motives and sequences. Truly, the architecture of their solos was simply sublime.
Five other songs were included in the first set. They were: “Work Song”, “Unit Seven”, “Sermonette”, “Jackleg” and “ Spectacular”.
The CJO Performs West Coast Jazz by Paul Desmond & Dave Brubeck
I must come clean, I am a huge Brubeck fan. I guess that makes me a West Coast jazz fan as well. The second half is what I had eagerly anticipated for months! Well, ever since the Calgary Jazz Orchestra announced its 2012/13 season.
Director Johnny Summers shared the story behind his arrangement of “Take Five”. He asked a visiting musician for ideas on how to approach arranging this iconic tune. He was told “Don't bother.”
Upcoming Events with the CJO
The CJO's next performance is the annual Al Capone Charade. This cabaret features an evening of big band swing and dancing. The Calgary Jazz Orchestra is launching a new series called “CJO Small Group Series”. The opening performance, “From the Plantation to the Penitentiary” is on Thursday, November 22, 2012, and will feature the music of Wynton Marsalis.
To find out more about CJO and the jazz ensemble's upcoming events, visit the Calgary Jazz Orchestra website.
The Music of David Brubeck & the Adderley Brothers was presented by the Calgary Jazz Orchestra on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at Riverpark Church. It featured big band arrangements by Greg Baker, Shane Statz, Johnny Summers and Egor Ukoloff. This enjoyable programme showcased several pieces that had heads bopping to the music throughout the evening.
“For PJ” featured a driving bass line supported by a shuffling drum beat. The solos displayed a wonderful contrast. There was a fast and rhythmic solo by Johnny Summers on trumpet, followed by a sparkling solo on sax by Gerry Hebert in the high register. Gareth Hughes presented a soaring solo that built up to high-energy wails and shakes, while Brian Walley gave listeners a dramatic contrast with his more subdued solo on trombone. Joanna Borromeo, delivered an explosive and highly syncopated solo on piano, while guest artist Russell Broom presented a softer, yet still rhythmic solo on guitar.
Three more numbers rounded out the first half. They were “Sudafed Blues” and “Chance Charm” by Shane Statz and Greg Baker's “Just a Memory”.
CJO Performs Music Made Famous by Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King and John Mayer
From the moment Russell Broom cut loose on his guitar for “Hey Joe”, the entire audience began to bop their heads or tap along to the beat. This arrangement by Greg Baker opened with said guitar solo, complemented by “splashes” from the trumpets, saxes and trombones. Greg Baker was on double duty for this jazz blues number, delivering gritty vocals without missing a beat on percussion. The groove switched to more of a rock flavour, with the ensemble vamping to a climax.
The soundscape leading to the climax of “Hey Joe” featured jaw-dropping guitar riffs and an equally exciting drum solo. The rhythm section traded bars with each member of the trumpet section before the audience heard one last guitar solo.
“The Thrill is Gone” (R. Hawkins, R. Darnell) is a medium blues number made famous by B.B. King. This arrangement was done by Greg Baker. It opened with Russell Broom on guitar plus the rhythm section. Gradually, layers were added, building up until Greg Baker began to sing. Russell's guitar solo featured beautiful melodies, soulful slides and varied rhythms. This segued nicely into Shane Statz's solo on sax, which shifted the melody to the upper range. The vocals returned with the trombones before being joined by the entire ensemble. The guitar and rhythm section brought the number to a rousing close.
|Calgary Jazz Orchestra's Johnny Summers (Photo by R-M Arca)|
About the Calgary Jazz Orchestra
The Calgary Jazz Orchestra is a 17-piece big band founded by Johnny Summers in 2004. The CJO's “Blues & Our Songs” concert featured Gerry Hebert, Gareth Hughes, Jim Brenan, Shane Statz and Sarah Matheson on saxophones. The trumpet section was comprised by Johnny Summers, Kim Beachum, Al Muirhead and Dave Foley. Brian Walley, Tim Embree, Nathan Gingrich and Greg Robertson make up the trombone section.
The Calgary Jazz Orchestra was joined by guitarist Russell Broom. Based in Calgary, Broom has won awards from the WCMA, Junos and AMPIA and has perfrormed in many concerts in Calgary and jazz music festivals.
The rhythm section included Joanna Borromeo on piano, John Gray on bass and Greg Baker on drums. Pianist Joanna Borromeo made her debut with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra at this performance. Her strong playing incorporated a mix of R&B, jazz-blues and rock that meshed perfectly with the ensemble.
“Blues & Our Songs” concludes the Calgary Jazz Orchestra's 2011/12 season. You can buy concert tickets for the 2012/13 season on the Calgary Jazz Orchestra website.