The CD goes on sale at the AJE's July 3 concert in Southampton, Pa. and is available for purchase at all of the band's, and online at www.jazzexplosion.com. "Summertime" will also be available at select local record stores.
"We decided to call the CD 'Summertime' as a sort of tribute to the band's roots," explains CD Co-Producer Mike DiFebbo. "While the band is now active year-round, performing at corporate events, weddings and public concerts, we started out as a rehearsal band, playing almost exclusively at outdoor concerts in the summer."
AJE is an 18-piece jazz big band, which consists of five trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones, piano, bass, drums, guitar and two vocalists. AJE is unique in that it is a professional-caliber band whose members are professionals in a wide variety of fields including law, dentistry, business, psychology, information technology, engineering and aerospace.
The CD's 13 tracks include "Sweet Georgia Brown," "What Kind of Food Am I," "Love for Sale," "When You're Smiling," and "Route 66."
The CD's title track, "Summertime," features a guest appearance by Glen Dodson. Dodson, of Chester Springs, Pa., began his long and accomplished career by attending the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He spent nine years with the New Orleans Symphony, where he played jazz with Al Hirt and Pete Fountain. During that time, he also spent six seasons with the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. Dodson spent three years with the Chicago Symphony before joining the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1968 as its principal trombonist. He also returned to the Curtis Institute as an Instructor of Trombone and Brass Ensemble. Now retired, Dodson continues to coach and play in many jazz groups including his own Raz-Jaz Dixie Band.
In addition to the band's signature sound, the CD contains vocals by Karen Wilhelm and Keith Spencer. Wilhelm performed with several local bands and starred in a number of local theater productions, including "Nunsense" and "Annie Get Your Gun," before joining the AJE last year. Spencer's extensive live performance experience includes singing back-up vocals for such artists as Roberta Flack, Rosemary Clooney, and Sandi Patty. He has also performed in many professional companies ranging from Philadelphia's Prince Theater to the Broadway tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Music of the Night."
The CD was recorded, mixed and mastered at Morningstar Studios in Spring House, Pa., between October 2000 and May 2002. It was produced by AJE members Mike DiFebbo and Bob Wagner, and engineered by Glenn Barratt, a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences' Grammy nominating committee.