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*** : CHARLES RUTHERFORD : "Big Band Super" : Discovery

February 19, 1991|BILL KOHLHAASE

Arrangements take center stage in this big band outing. Rutherford is known for letting his ensemble members bring in their own charts and several are represented here, most notably trumpeter Tom Calderaro who makes fine contributions with "Never Cross the Same Bridge Twice" and "There's Always Someone Else Around," with its thinly veiled references to "There Will Never Be Another You." Vocalist Elena Gilliam adds a deep, airy earnestness to Glen Isaacson's intricate reworking of "My Funny Valentine," dubbed "Valentine II" here. Despite good solo efforts from keyboardist Bob Swaaley on Calderaro's funky "Moments," baritone saxophonist Brian Williams on his own "Early Spring" and trumpeter Bob Bennett on the pop hit "We're in This Love Together," most of the improvisation here isn't as polished as that heard with, say, the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra. But the ensemble works, and the general level of enthusiasm keeps this date from being run-of-the-mill. Available by mail from Discovery Records, P.O. Box 48081, Los Angeles, Calif. 90048.

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