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Gary Urwin Jazz Orchestra: Perspectives

Color this debut auspicious. It’s by one of the best-kept secrets in the Los Angeles studio scene: Gary Urwin, a Toledo native who boasts degrees in music and law; by day he litigates; by night he syncopates.

Urwin arranged all tracks and bringing most of them to life are the cream of the studio crop. How can you miss with the solo efforts of Pete Christlieb, Kim Richmond and Bob Efford, reeds; Andy Martin, trombone; Ron King and George Graham, trumpets?

Yet there are occasional misfires. The changes of “When You Wish Upon a Star” are so pedestrian, even Christlieb can’t save it. “You Must Believe in Spring” is stretched unnecessarily. “Oncoming Traffic” is just unnecessary, but Richmond does save it.

In a town where Bill Holman, Bob Florence, Johnny Mandel and Tom Scott, keep pushing the envelope, Urwin must create more charts like “Stormy Weather” and “Legacy” (the latter, with cello and piccolo trumpet, has enough colors to sound like a movie cue) to join that elite.

Originally Published