Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra


WCJO_Best Of_Vol 01
WCJO_Best Of_Vol 02
WCJO_Best Of_Vol 03


2-part CD:

Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra

A.  Earliest—New Riverside Cafe’  1973

B.  Mid-Early—Starlite Ball  1975


A.  Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra
New Riverside Café; Minneapolis, MN

  May 1973 marked the beginning of the original WCJO.  When we started out, we had a general idea that we’d like to play interesting/unusual jazz orchestra arrangements from the 1920’s.  None of us had ever transcribed arrangements from original recordings before, but we taught ourselves as we went along.  Most of the Earliest Band arrangements were not exact note-for-note transcriptions, but rather approximations.  Thus:


A.  Live! at the New Riverside Cafe’; 1973—one of the very first public gigs for the band.  The instrumentation of the band was still formative—2 alto saxes (no tenor sax, yet); 2 trumpets; 2 trombones; 3 guitars (!); violin; piano; electric bass (no tuba, yet); drums and female vocalist.  The arrangements were approximation pastiches—some in medley form, some augmented by our own ideas.  The overall ‘sound’ was more like a Hybrid String Band than a Classic Jazz Orchestra.  But, these arrangements are unique and interesting in their own right.

01. Duke Medley

Duke Medley_WCJO_1973_MP3

02. Swamp Blues

Swamp Blues_WCJO_1973_MP3

03. Wabash Blues - Sweet Leilani


04. One O'clock Leap

One O'clock Leap_WCJO_1973_MP3

05. Perry Mason Theme

Perry Mason_WCJO_1973_MP3

B.  Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra
Starlite Ball; Minneapolis, MN

B.  Live! at the Starlite Ball; 1975—about a year and a half after the NRC gig = a world of difference!  We now are transcribing charts exactly note-for-note and we have all the correct instrumentation—a truly authentic Classic Jazz Orchestra.

The Starlite Ball was, in reality, a private party thrown by some students at the Minneapolis School of Art and Design.  These students were renting an old mansion near the school and knew about us because we’d done a couple of gigs at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (parent institution of the school).

I love the ambience of the mostly-inebriated audience and the interplay in the band = everybody’s quite loose and having a good time.  The band is well-rehearsed and in fine form.

Special Note:  Mark Bryn (piano) knew that Mark Bruner (Hashhead) couldn’t play the “Some Of These Days” trumpet solo in the upper register (where it should be), so when the solo came up Bryn grabbed a curved soprano sax (that he had at the ready) and played the solo note-for-note exact in the correct register, perfectly mirroring Hashy’s lower-range solo—it’s stuff like this that made the band truly Special!


06. Ted - Shootin' The Pistol

Ted - Shootin' Pistol_WCJO_1973_MP3

07. Ted - Oh Sister, Ain't That Hot?

Ted - Oh Sister_WCJO_1973_MP3

08. Ted - Bozo


09. Wringin' and Twistin' Blues

Wringin' Twistin'_WCJO_1973_MP3

10. Ted - Some Of These Days

Ted - Some Days_WCJO_1973_MP3