AMERICANA Classic Jazz ORCHESTRA
I recently bumped into (serendipitously) a Memorabilia box and found some
interesting items that have been overlooked until now. They are almost exclusively from magazines and newspapers, thus
the quality is somewhat difficult to reproduce, but worth posting.
The Original Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra (1973 - 1979)
From Contact Sheet 1974
Hot Jazz & Prohibition
Insider Magazine Feature 1975
Castle Royal St. Paul, MN
Musicians' Insider Magazine
2nd LP Review in Jazz Echo mag
I suppose I could tell a lie and say the
picture below was of a WCJO bandmember--but I won't. It's a picture of the immensely gifted Jazz pianist/composer,
Bill Evans. I chose to include it here because what is not a lie is this:
I had two different piano players end up in this position
on gigs over the years = the piano charts could accurately be described as 90% Boring ('comping' chords) and
10% Next To Impossible (note-for-note piano solos by Jazz Giants). This would be the position they employed when fatiqued
with the 'comping' aspect. Some audience members who saw this were horrified (completely Unprofessional); as for me,
I thought it was absurdly Humorous.
From a Review by Drew Darling, 1986. After losing
the Wolverines name and logo to former partners in 1984 (long story short: I was leveraged out of the organization I founded!),
I had received an NEA Grant to continue my note-for-note transcription work via the renamed American Classic Jazz Orchestra.
Unfortunately, the TC area didn't get the message and
I felt compelled to leave town 4 years later--I moved to Washington, DC and lived there for 16 years.
However, much has changed since then and I returned to
the TC area in October of 2006 to 'pick up where I left off'. Which is to say the TC area (and I) are
afforded a Second Chance to bring this project to full realization. Never say never.
|by Drew Darling, TC Journalist, 1986
After a full year in the Twin Cities with
paucitous results re: the Americana Classic Jazz Orchestra (ACJO) and "picking up where I left off"...
One Fine Thing led to another and now:
I have every ACJO chair filled with topnotch
players willing to rehearse on a regular basis! I also now have a more-than-adequate Space for Rehearsals secured.
It seems like a Minor Miracle
to me and a testament to Patience and Optimism.
I had a rehearsal band for a couple of months. All authentic
instrumentation and free rehearsal space via Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church. But when it came down to "Do you have
a gig on the horizon, Ted?", players just couldn't continue--time is money, even in the music world. This is perfectly