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Bob Wilber and the International March of Jass All Stars: Everywhere You Go There’s Jazz

Wilber and his 10-piece international crew give us a swinging set in the tradition of Ellington, Basie, Armstrong, Goodman, Bechet and the Wilber-Kenny Davern group Soprano Summit on this album. The set opens with “Scarecrow,” from the Goodman band book. Wilber’s Goodmanesque clarinet, Bent Persson’s muted trumpet, Peter Appleyard’s Hampton-like vibes, Antti Sarpila’s jump-style tenor, and Dave Cliff’s Charlie Christian-tinged guitar pass in review, all sounding spiffy. “Duke’s Feeling Sad,” the next tune, is a typically lyrical Wilber composition, with lovely piano decoration by Dick Hyman. On Wild Bill Davis’ “Stolen Sweets,” Wilber creates a ’30s and ’40s big band sound with the ensemble.

Pug Horton, Wilber’s wife, sings “Jeepers Creepers” and three others on the album. “With a Song in My Heart” and Wilber’s minor-key “Un Hommage a Sidney Bechet” recreate the Soprano Summit sound with the leader on soprano and Sarpila on clarinet or soprano. Trombonist Dan Barrett blows several tasteful, take-your time plunger-muted solos on the album. Overall, this is a fine, unpretentious, well-ordered, ever-swinging session.

The nationalities include Finland (Sarpila), Sweden (Persson and vibist Lars Erstrand), Canada (Appleyard), England (Cliff and bassist Dave Green), and the U.S. (Wilber, Barrett, Hyman, drummer Ed Metz, Jr., and Horton).

Originally Published