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Nashville Jazz Orchestra - It Ain't Necessarily So (2013)

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Nashville Jazz Orchestra - It Ain't Necessarily So (2013)

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1 	Cuban Overture     	7:42
2 	But Not For Me		7:01
3 	My Man's Gone Now	5:44
4 	Prelude No. 2	10:41
5 	It Ain't Necessarily So	6:59
6 	Someone To Watch Over Me	6:35
7 	Summertime	4:18
8 	How Long Has This Been Going On	5:26

Jim Williamson: music director, trumpet, flugelhorn
Matt White: trumpet
Cole Burgess: alto sax
Matt Davich: alto sax, flute
Kenny Anderson: tenor sax
Doug Moffet: tenor sax
Robby Shankle: baritone sax, bass clarinet
Don Aliquo: clarinet
Barry Green: trombone
Roy Agee: trombone
Pat Coil: piano
Steve Kummer: piano
Christina Watson: vocals
Mike Rinne: bass
Bob Mater: drums

 

This splendid debut recording by the Nashville Jazz Orchestra is subtitled "New Twists on Gershwin Classics." No argument there, starting with the picturesque "Cuban Overture" from 1932 and encompassing a trio of songs from the folk opera Porgy and Bess, which premiered three years later. Also on the bill of fare are the standards "But Not for Me," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "How Long Has This Been Going On" and the ambitious "Prelude No. 2," deftly arranged by Jamie Simmons as a showpiece for the impressive clarinetist Don Aliquo.

Trombonist Barry Greene is captivating on "But Not for Me," tenor saxophonist Doug Moffet likewise on Bernie Walker's well-grooved arrangement of "Summertime." Moffet solos again on "My Man's Gone Now," the first of three vocals by Christina Watson whose bluesy phrases conclusively epitomize the Gershwin ethos. Watson's other features are "Someone to Watch Over Me" and the album's closing number, "How Long Has This Been Going On." Trombonist Roy Agee, trumpeter / music director Jim Williamson and pianist Steve Kummer are the soloists on "Cuban Overture," Kummer, trumpeters Williamson and Matt White on "It Ain't Necessarily So," tenor Kenny Anderson on "Someone to Watch Over Me," alto Cole Burgess on "How Long Has This Been Going On."

Any orchestra that plans to remodel music as well-known as this should weigh that decision carefully to make sure it has something fresh and engaging to impart. The Nashville Jazz Orchestra does. --- Jack Bowers, allaboutjazz.com

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