Westchester Jazz Orchestra


Maiden Voyage Suite WJO*****

It’s surprising that, until now, nobody has thought of scoring Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage, one of the great jazz albums of the 1960s (or any other era), for a big band. It’s worth the wait. The Westchester Jazz Orchestra is a top-of-the- food-chain band with section work as near perfection as one could wish for, as well as superb charts by director Mike Holober, Pete McGuinness and members Jay Brandford and Tony Kadleck. Despite the use of four arrangers, the results are thoroughly of a piece, as much a tribute to their sympathetic approach as it is to Hancock’s unifying nautical concept. With the orchestral colour catching the ebb and flow, storms and calms, of the central idea beautifully, and front-rank soloists (including Marvin Stamm, Jim Rotondi, Ralph Lalama, Jason Rigby and Ted Rosenthal), this is one of the big band albums of the year. See westjazzorch.org