Take a listen to a few examples of the Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra's music. Comments are by CJRO Director Art Bouton
"I've played and taught at jazz festivals and jazz camps for a few decades and you always need a new feature tune. Wil Swindler wrote this for me a few years ago for the Yellowstone Jazz Camp. In those situations the camp band reads the tune down in rehearsal and performs it that night. It's great to hear what Wil's compositions can sound like with a good dose of TLC!" That's Al Hood on trumpet.
"Paul McKee is one of the finest trombonist, improvisors, composers, and arrangers anywhere. This is not hyperbole. A veteran of the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Chicago jazz scene, and now faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder; his inclusion to the Denver environment has taken the trombone situation from good to awesome in short order. This clever arrangement features Paul and CJRO tenor saxophonist, Eric Erhardt. Enjoy!"
"CJRO supporter, Al Sharp is a big fan of Gerry Mulligan (who isn't?) so he commissioned Will Swindler to write this arrangement of "Festive Minor." Joining Wil on this selection is Greg Gisbert on trumpet. Greg is first call anywhere. He's currently dividing his time in Denver with his duties on the faculty at the Julliard School of Music and performing with the the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra."
Steve Wiest wrote this arrangement as a tribute to his mentor, Maynard Ferguson. This time its Steve who "takes it upstairs" on this trombone feature.
On our May 28 concert, our vocalist Heidi Schmidt brought in this beautiful Cy Coleman tune to sing with the CJRO rhythm section. We all loved this song, so I immediately asked Wil Swindler to arrange it for the full CJRO. Heidi is the one who amazes here. I'm on the alto solo.
Another great Will Swindler arrangement, this one of the standard, "Invitation." This reworking sounds both contemporary and nostalgic. Be sure to check out the section that says a la Perez Prado! The piano solo is by Eric Gunnison, Greg Gisbert is on the trumpet solo.
Steve Wiest arranged this classic Weather Report tune for the CJRO. That's Greg Gisbert on lead with Bijoux Barbosa tearing it up on bass! Solos are Eric Ehardt on tenor and Mike Abbott on guitar.
The CJRO regularly performs the classic version Duke Ellington's Prelude to a Kiss, but here is Paul McKee's beautiful adaptation featuring Heidi Schmidt on vocals and Eric Gunnison on piano.
We recorded this a couple years ago for our first Christmas show, and we look forward every year to play this burning tune. It's a mashup of Charles Mingus' "Better Get Hit in Yo' Soul!" and "Go Tell it on the Mountain." Wil Swindler and Steve Wiest are tearing it up on this one!
Another tune from our holiday set. This Alan Baylock arrangement features more of the wonderful vocals by Heidi Schmidt. I'm on the alto solo