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Where or When by Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra

Creating the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra in 1994, Mark Buselli and Brent Wallarab envisioned an entirely instrumental band. Today, their group of 17 pieces includes some of the finest musicians in the mid-west as they honor their commitment to keeping jazz heritage alive and going forward.

Along the way things changed. With the release of their third collaboration including vocalist, Everett Greene, they have added Cynthia Layne to complete the sound they bring so well to their audience.

Dubbed BWJO by the late trombonist, J.J. Johnson, who stated their group was "A marvelous new band with exceptional soloists and some of the most creative and satisfying writing I’ve heard in a long time," the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra brings a richness of horns, an expansive big-band feel, with their smaller big band formation.

Opening their latest album, Where Or When, with the sentimental "My Romance" sets a tone of familiarity featuring Everett Greene’s deep, languishing vocals before the group ramps up the tempo showing off Brent Wallarab’s superb control and smoothness on trombone while he accompanies Greene on the title track, "Where or When"

The famous Milt Gabler/Bert Kaempfert tune, "L-O-V-E" showcases the sensual vocals of Cynthia Layne, in a soft, tender rendition of this timeless classic.

Tom Meyer on baritone sax and Rob Dixon on alto sax give a perfect balance to Greene’s vocals on "Watch What Happens," a perky tune, showing off some clever stretches on sax.

"Wonderland" features an infectious solo by Buselli on flugelhorn and a fancy run on sax by Rob Dixon. The interplay between horns keeps this tune lively, interesting and highly listen-able. Mike Stricklin steps in with soprano sax, for a romping accompaniment to Greene’s mysteriously deep vocals on "This Can’t Be Love."

Cynthia Layne changes the mood for "Avalon" with Luke Gillespie running wild on keyboard and Dixon and Buselli keeping a rampant pace on horns. Turning the tide, Brent Wallarab shows the diversity, mellowness, and the richness of trombone in the setting of "More Then You Know."

The ever-popular "Teach Me Tonight" has the rich flavor intended by the authors, Gene DePaul and Sammy Cahn, so long ago, as Cynthia Layne lets lose with her smoky vocals.

Slowing the tempo for the closing, Greene gently, precisely, elicits the sentimentality desired for "My Funny Valentine."

Based on their achievement list, it is easy to understand why these gentlemen are known as Seasoned professionals

; Mark Buselli is head of Jazz Studies at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He’s a clinician for the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation, Conn/Selmer and a member of BMI.

In addition to his work as sideman, Buselli has played with the Artie Shaw Band, performed with Natalie Cole, Vic Damone, Slam Stewart along with several other A performers.

Brent Wallarab has been lead trombonist with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, since 1991. Currently, Wallarab is Assistant Professor of Music at the Indiana Unviersity Jacobs School of Music. He has been called up by Wynton Marsalis to transcribe and arrange for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra,, along with the "Essentially Ellington" educational program.

Adding vocalist Everett Greene just put the icing on the cake. Greene is known for his bass-baritone voice. Along with appearing on gospel and jazz albums, Greene has won an Emmy Award for his work on a T-V special " Precious Moments" and is the famous voice behind many voice-over characters.

According to Brent Wallarab, " The music featured here is from our smaller big band formation. Sometimes, a single statement of the tune is all that is needed, as repetition can diffuse the intimacy of simple poetry."

Tailoring their band individually to each song on this CD has proven to be a success as the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra continues to bring great sound to their audience.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra
  • CD Title: Where or When
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: Owl Studios
  • Musicians: : Brent Wallarab: Arranger, conductor and trombone, Mike Stricklin: soprano and alto saxophones and flute, Rob Dixon: tenor saxophone, Tom Meyer: baritone sax and bass clarinet, Jeff Conrad: trumpet and flugelhorn, Mark Buselli: trumpet and flugelhorn, Loy Hetrick: trombone, Richard Dole: bass trombone, Celeste holler-Seraphinoff: horn, Luke Gillespie: piano, Jack Helsley: bass, Bryson Kern: drums, Deno Sanders: drums, Everett Greene: vocal, Cynthia Layne: vocal
  • Rating: Five Stars
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