On a Desert Island with You . . .
As noted, the list is woefully inadequate (but still numbers almost forty!). And that's basically off the top of my head. My apology to any great bands / albums I may have overlooked (believe me, there are plenty of them out there). I'm sure you must have some others you absolutely couldn't live without. And I'm sure I do too. But the albums listed here should give most big-band enthusiasts a running start. Happy listening!
The University of North Texas in Denton has a number of Jazz workshops scheduled this summer, starting June 12-16 with the Lynn Seaton Double Bass Workshop and continuing with the Jazz Trumpet and Trombone Workshop (June 19-24), the Vocal Jazz Workshop (June 25-30) and the Jazz Combo Workshop (July 16-21). Besides Seaton, the faculty includes co-directors trumpeter Mike Steinel and trombonist Tony Baker (Jazz / Trombone), vocalists Paris Rutherford and Rosanna Eckert (Vocal Jazz), and a number of outstanding musicians / educators including Seaton, Steinel, Baker, trumpeter Rodney Booth, saxophonists Will Campbell and John Murphy, guitarists Fred Hamilton and Joe Lee, pianists Dan Haerle and Stefan Karlsson, and drummer Ed Soph (Jazz Combo).
The Port Townsend (WA) Jazz Workshop will be held July 23-30. Music director John Clayton has recruited a blue-chip faculty that includes Benny Green, Kurt Elling, Bill Mays, Jeff Hamilton, Bob Florence, Ingrid Jensen, George Cables, Terell Stafford, Steve Wilson, Jeff Clayton, Gary Smulyan, Jiggs Whigham, Bruce Forman, Kim Richmond, Chuck Deardorf, Gary Hobbs, Jay Thomas, Marc Seales, Bill Ramsay and others. The $575 tuition includes admission to all festival events. Room and board ranges from $195 to $380. The workshop qualifies for 40 continuing education class hours. For information or to register, phone 360-385-3102, ext. 114, or go online to www.centrum.org
For those who make the trip overseas from time to time for the UK's Wigan Jazz Festival, there'll be a new twist this year as Wigan joins forces on July 22 with the nearby Manchester Jazz Festival for a day of Jazz featuring artists from both events. One of the headliners will be pianist Monty Alexander, with a number of other topnotch musicians scheduled to perform. The Wigan festival runs from July 15, 22, the Manchester from July 22-30. For more information about the festivals, go to www.wiganjazz.net or www.manchesterjazz.com
Next month's column will consist of a first-person report from Encores in Big Band Jazz: Artistry in Rhythm Meets Woodchoppers Ball, the Ken Poston / L.A. Jazz Institute spectacular at the Four Points Sheraton - LAX Hotel. Until then, keep swingin'!
New and Noteworthy
1. Phil Woods / Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra, Unheard Herd (Jazzed Media)
2. Maria Schneider Orchestra, Days of Wine and Roses (ArtistShare)
3. Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Up from the Skies (Planet Arts)
4. Junko Moriya Orchestra, Points of Departure (Spice of Life)
5. Millennium Jazz Orchestra, Oatts Notes (Jazz 'n Pulz)
6. Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra East, Diamonds for Nat (Summit)
7. Blue Notes Orchestra, 30th Anniversary (Muse)
8. Dutch Jazz Orchestra, The Lady Who Swings the Band (Challenge)
9. Lungau Big Band, Live at Montreux / The Monk's Progress (LBB)
10. Bob Mintzer Big Band, Old School: New Lessons (MCG)
11. Vic Vogel Big Band, Hangin' Loose (VV Records)
12. Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, Take One (KCJO)
13. US Navy Commodores, Three Shades of Blue (USNC)
14. Hanepoot and the Biggish Band, Salt & Vinegar (Jazzcoza)
15. UMO Jazz Orchestra, Sauna Palaa! (UMOCD)