ACJO 2015

Best of Original WCJO (1973 - 1979) - Jazz-influenced Classical

ACJO 20th Anniversary with Benny Waters
A History of the ACJO/WCJO
Best of Original WCJO (1973 - 1979) - Volume 1
Best of Original WCJO (1974 - 1982) - Volume 2
Best of Original WCJO (1973 - 1979) - Jazz-influenced Classical
Early WCJO Bootleg 5 CD Box Set
Hot Jazz - The Jazz Age
CJO/CJE Blasts From The Past - You Tube Videos
WCJO Memorabilia
Ted Unseth, Composer/Arranger


The main focus of the CJO project has always been American Jazz Orchestras (specifically, but not exclusively, from the 1920's).  But from the very beginning, we also wanted to be set apart from other 'classic Jazz bands'/something truly unique. 
We took a keen interest in 'serious' Classical composers and their ideas on Jazz/Jazz-related popular music.  And when time and circumstance permitted (a Special Concert occasion), we did our best to feature some of these in public performance (and recordings--see our first two LPs). 
Some of these performances were in 'legitimate' concert halls; others were in clubs or bars where one would least expect to hear this music.  One triumphal evening was at a bar called the Cabooze (Mpls., MN)--not your high-end drinking establishment; moreso a working man's/college kid bar.  We played our Classic Jazz repertoire and were very well received.  Towards the end of the evening we decided to throw this curveball:  "Excerpts" from Aaron Copland's "Piano Concerto" (1926).   There are three different tempi and our main worry was the Dancers--they'd been dancing all night to the CJ stuff, but would they accept two tempo changes in the middle of the piece?  Answer:  Absolutely--they paused for a moment, adjusted to the new tempos, then let out roars of approval!  It was memorable; and probably never to be repeated again...
Our performances of these compositions are in the category of what I call "Chance Classical":  A few fluffs, here and there; a few miscues; however, we put good Feel into them and thus I think they're worthy of review--you'll certainly never hear rendtions quite like these elsewhere.
--Ted Unseth 

Ted Unseth & the

Americana Classic Jazz Orchestra



The Best Of The Original Wolverines CJO:  1973 – 1979


Jazz-influenced Classical Music




01.  Song Of India  1898

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

)Paul Whiteman Orchestra  1924;

WCJO; Orchestra Hall, Mpls., MN  1974)




02.  Ragtime for Eleven Instruments  1914

Igor Stravinsky

(WCJO; Orchestra Hall, Mpls., MN  1974)



03.  Piano Concerto (Excerpts)  1926

Aaron Copland

(WCJO; Orchestra Hall, Mpls., MN  1974)




04.  Ebony Concerto  1946

Igor Stravinsky

(WCJO; Commodore Hotel; St. Paul, MN  1977)




05.  Fugue and Riffs  1949

Leonard Bernstein

(WCJO; Orchestra Hall, Mpls., MN  1976)




06.  Derivations  1956

Morton Gould

(WCJO; Prom Ballroom; St. Paul, MN  1979)

Click the Link below for the somewhat raucous tail-end WCJO performance at Orchestra Hall 1976 of Leonard Bernstein's "Riffs" (from "Prelude, Fugue and Riffs", 1949. 

WCJO_Orch Hall_1976_Riffs_tail

For further inquiry, contact Ted Unseth at