It was difficult deciding whether to include Mood Swings in our series on jazz big bands. On the one hand, their book of classic jazz big band tunes is voluminous, featuring both instrumentals and vocal features. On the other hand, the argument against inclusion is summed up in their own self-description as a “rock/pop band in a big band body.” If you check the fifty audio tracks on their web site, there’s precious little jazz, aside from perhaps the Sinatra tunes and a few standards typically played by jazz bands, such as “Georgia,” “Teach Me Tonight,” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Maybe we should think of them as a potential jazz big band. | Read more>>
Three years ago trumpeter Scott Stansfield put together a big band to make a CD, which they did after six months of rehearsal. When the project was over, some musicians said, “We’re not breaking up, are we?” Stansfield then realized an ambition he’d had since 1983, when, as a sixth grader, he heard the Stan Kenton Orchestra at Towson State College. | Read more>>
This big band’s entire repertoire consists of compositions and/or arrangements by Hank Levy. In case you are not familiar with that name, here is a short synopsis. Levy was a Baltimore saxophonist who played briefly with the famous Stan Kenton Orchestra in 1953, then returned to Baltimore. | Read more>>
Seven years ago trumpeter Jerry Peterson took over the leadership of Emil Rusinko’s big band after the death of its former leader. Peterson had taught in Anne Arundel County schools, mainly Arundel Junior High, for forty years. He is currently 83 and also leads a brass quintet. | Read more>>
The people we call senior citizens used to sometimes be known as golden agers; therefore, the name of this all-senior-citizen big band is The Goldenaires. The band is over thirty years old and based in Columbia. When reed man Al Caldwell began directing the band in 2010 they had mostly one-page charts, some with only a few lines of music. | Read more>>