WCJO Best Of Vol 03
01. Lush Life
The WCJO Partnership
Band had a gig at McGuire’s Supper Club.
Aside from our regular repertoire, we were to do a 1 hour-10 minute Show
at the beginning. I took this
opportunity to score two Big Band arrangements; this was one of them. Our Special
Guest was Shirley Witherspoon and
I thought she could/would sing it, but she said it was not in a good key for
her, so… I sang it.
I chose this tune
because it was composed by Billy Strayhorn, the only other composer Duke
Ellington ever allowed to write for his orchestra (“Take The ‘A’ Train” is the
02. Goin’ To Chicago
Performed at the
McGuire’s gig. I sang the Intro, then
Shirley took it from there.
03. Goin’ To Chicago
WCJO gig at the
Chicago Jazz Festival. Special Guest
72-year-old Doc Cheatham (legendary trumpeter; played with Cab Calloway, etc.)
sang the Lead. Before the gig, I called
Doc and asked if he would sing this number.
“In all my years
playing, no one ever asked me to sing.
Sure, I’ll do it.”
Prudence Johnson and
I sang the backups.
In The Street
Also at the McGuire’s
gig. This is the second special
arrangement I did for Big Band configuration.
I referenced two commercial-release recordings:
--One by the Kinks;
--The other by Martha
& The Vandellas. This version was
the main inspiration and the context is: When Martha was asked “Why this
tune?” She said it was to calm people
down—the Watts Riots were happening then.
I even ‘snuck-in’
some phrases from the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra’s “Flaming Reeds, Screaming