Making music is, above all else, about people. Music is at its best when individuals bring their personalities and artistry together to contribute to a common goal. This is what made working with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra so enjoyable. Aside from being superbly skilled musicians they are a group of wonderful people who put themselves into everything they play, and you can hear it in the recording. This album was conceived as a way of exploring the range of expression of the large jazz ensemble. The pieces on this album cover a wide stylistic range. They are a mixture of modern and traditional, original compositions and arrangements of pieces to which I have always been drawn.
The Great bands that I grew up listening to left a permanent mark. (The story of how a young person growing up in the 70s came to devote his miss-spent youth to listening to music from the 30s, 40s and 50s we will leave to another day.) My love of big band music started with Duke Ellington and continued with all the wonderful music recorded by Woody Herman, Cab Calloway, Stan Kenton and the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra. A partial list if ever there was.
I hope you will enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed working on it.
Paul Ferguson, who made the whole project happen
Colleen Sherman, executive director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra
David Kennedy at the Tommy LiPuma Center for the Creative Arts
Chandler Bridges for his generosity with his time throughout the recording and mixing process
The Florida State University College of Music
released May 21, 2017
Howie Smith, Brad Wagner John Klayman, Johnny Cochrane, George Shernit
Dave Banks, Joe Miller, Jack Schantz, Steve Enos
Scott Garlock, Mark Mauldin, Sam Blakeslee, Paul Hungerford
Jim Rupp, Drums
William Peterson, Piano
Aidan Plank, Bass