New Emily Jazz Orchestra: New Ever Tribute to Romolo Grande

The Emily Jazz Band began as a Dixieland group in 1953, in Northern Italy. (Emily sounds like a jazzier version of the region, Emiliana.) But the first of many stylistic changes took place over time, and its sound morphed to “postmodern.” Today, sadly, the NEJO is a nonswinging quintet (two reeds, three rhythm) that can’t decide what to play or how to play it.

But the biggest problem is the band’s songbook, especially “Vivald-iana,” based on a Vivaldi violin concerto from his Four Seasons, and the “Brandenburg Concerto,” inspired by Bach’s third in his Brandenburg series. Both numbers are train wrecks and the charts should be dumped. “Alternate Seasons” sounds like an etude for tin whistle. Apropos of that, how can Paolo Panzani play on such a tinny keyboard? And how can Bruno Franchini release his awful vocal on “All The Things You Are?” It’s an embarrassment.