This jazz orchestra is the result of years of writing charts in whatever time I could borrow or steal. I've always loved the power and sonority of massed instruments and had great times playing in big bands right from the start in the 1970s, when Harry Murphy would take time off from repairing horns at Devine's Music in Framingham MA to assemble a disparate mixture of players to run Sammy Nestico charts. (By "disparate" I mean that beginners like me were sitting between some amateur accordion player and tenorist Jackie Stevens, who'd spent years touring with Woody Herman.) I played for years in Full Faith and Credit and the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, terrific bands. Now it's time to put that experience into action.
I'm the sole arranger for the band, and a lot of the tunes are somewhat torqued takes on the standards: Tea for Two as a 7/4 mambo for example. I've also arranged some of the more rarely done Brazilian gems, like Joyce's "Crianca" and "Lobo Bobo" by Ronaldo Bôscoli, and several of my own tunes. My fondest hope as an arranger is to engage you, amuse and delight, and recast familiar music to reveal unexpected facets. The sonorities range from deep violet combinations of muted brass and low woodwinds to the blazing gold of a band in full cry. I'm fortunate to be able to recruit top Bay Area players to bring their mad skills and fire to play this music, and we often feature wonderful guest vocalists like Jackie Ryan and Clairdee. Please come hear us!