ALBANY – Big band jazz was once a staple of the Nippertown jazz scene. He has officially returned to the Nippertown stage after his absence during the Covid shutdown. The newly formed 16-member BWC (Brucker – Weisse – Canterbury) Jazz Orchestra played to a nearly full house at Linda on Thursday evening.
The band was formed by chance to play the cards of the late Al Quaglieri Sr. at the request of his son Al Jr. and found huge success during their public rehearsals in Schenectady. Since then, the addition of further charting by internationally renowned big band arrangers has led to this performance.
Although the group is under the joint management of Cliff Brucker (drums), Steve Weisse (trumpet) and Dylan Canterbury (trumpet), it was managed by Canterbury, who is nationally known as an arranger and chart recorder of big band.
If someone came to the Linda exclusively to hear “the songs that Glen Miller played”, they would be surprised. The music ranged from “My Reverie,” a 1930s ballad based on Satie’s 1890 solo piano piece, to an arrangement of Herbie Hancock’s funky 70s hit “Chameleon.” The age range of musicians was wide, from senior members of the jazz community such as Brucker and Jim Corigliano, to young trumpeter Nate McKever.
The band was indulgent with the audience starting with Dean Martin’s hit “Volare” (what we baby boomers call the Chrysler ad of the 70s) and moving on to the jazz standard “It’s You or Me.” The background of the oddly named “Tiptoes” (Gershwin) was explained by Canterbury as a musical composition about a husband tiptoeing to the fridge for a snack trying not to get caught but stumbling and falling.
West Coast jazz was highlighted by Bill Hollman’s arrangements of “My Reverie” and Sonny Rollins’ “Airegin.” A more contemporary feel and sound with different sonic textures and rhythms was demonstrated by Thad Jones’ ‘Central Park North’.
The second set featured arrangements by pianist Peg Delaney, Bill Canterbury and Jim Corigliano, with an arrangement by a 17-year-old student who was part of the audience.
A preview of Peg Delaney’s Latin song “My Tuna” was featured. (She will debut with her own big band at A Place For Jazz in the fall). Dylan Canterbury’s “Finish Up” was dedicated to former resident valve trombone player and big band leader Phil Allen. The ballad “Softly as in a Morning Sunrise” received a dynamic group treatment that was far from soft! Also featured was one of my personal big band favorites “Quintessence”, by a Michael Jackson/Michael Jackson Quincy Jones pre-show theme.
There were solos from many band members, many of whom are also bandleaders. Adam Siegel (soprano/alto), Nat McKeever (trumpet), Steve Weisse (trumpet), Jim Corigliano (tenor sax), Dave Fisk (alto sax) and Eric Carmiello (tenor sax), among others.
It was great to hear the big band Jazz again. If you missed this performance and enjoy the big band, Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble will make their post-Covid premiere at the Cock n Bull restaurant in Galway on July 26. BWC is planning more open rehearsals and future performances in the fall. Hope to see you there.
- Dylan Canterbury – trumpet/bandleader
- Peg Delaney – piano
- Dave Shoudy – bass
- Cliff Brucker – drums
- Adam Siegel – soprano/alto sax
- Dave Fisk – alto sax
- Eric Carmiello – tenor sax
- Jim Corigliano – tenor saxophone
- Kaitlyn Faye – baritone saxophone
- Ken Olsen – trombone
- Elias Asimakapoulos – trombone
- Rebekah Stilkey – trombone
- Shaun Bazylewicz – bass trombone
- Steve Weisse – trumpet
- Mike Dietlein – trumpet
- Nat McKeever – trumpet
- Kathy Ehliner – trumpet
- It’s you or nobody
- lonely street
- My Daydream
- Central Park North
- Hurry up
- my tuna
- Softly like a morning sunrise
- Carmelo near the highway