Even though I would be characterized as someone faithful to “hot jazz,” I love this supple, lyrical, compact orchestra. Jon has taste, as do the musicians who fill the chairs, and there is a sweet floating sweep to the sounds, individually and collectively, that emerge.
When Jon said that his Octet was giving a (too-brief) recital at City College, where he teaches, I packed my gear and — even without Anita and Roy — let myself off Uptown. Here are a few delightful interludes from that session. The saxophones are Jon and Bill Todd, alto; Dan Block and Dan Ransom, tenor; Andrew Hadro, baritone; the rhythm is JinJoo Yoo, piano; Kevin Thomas, string bass; Steve Little, drums (but with the caveat that the drums are someone else’s), and the arrangements and transcriptions are Jon’s.
PICK YOURSELF UP:
Cole Porter’s tender yet jaunty LOOKING AT YOU:
Jon’s own VALSE VIVIENNE, scored for four clarinets::
I’ll follow this band whenever and wherever I can.
May your happiness increase!