South Florida Jazz Orchestra – Cheap Thrills – the Music of Rick Margitza (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:13:13 minutes | 897 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Summit Records
There was a time when a band like the South Florida Jazz Orchestra would, perhaps, have been described as a ‘territory’ band. And that’s what it is, based in the Miami area of the Sunshine State. Bands such as the SFJO perhaps don’t travel as much as in the past but that’s down to the economics of keeping a large ensemble on the road and its personnel holding down day jobs (often teaching jazz to the next generation).
The South Florida outfit has at its helm Chuck Bergeron. Formed some fifteen year ago and boasting four albums under its belt, this is a mighty fine orchestra. Regularly working with big names – Randy Brecker, Arturo Sandoval and Ira Sullivan to name but three – it can’t be anything other than helpful to have Bergeron make that phone call to a friend who just happens to be another ‘big name’. This latest project – The Music of Rick Margitza – succeeds in maintaining both the high standard of musicianship and the band’s deserved high reputation.
Margitza conducted a masterclass at the University of Miami which led to Bergeron suggesting the one-time Miles Davis sideman bring along a couple of charts with a view to including them on a recording. One thing led to another, the end result being all but two of the nine tracks on Cheap Thrills were written by Margitza, hence The Music of Rick Margitza. The title track, the opening number, features special guest guitarist John Hart. The album’s many first rate soloists are a joy to listen to, supported, as they are, by a swinging rhythm section. Guest trumpeter Brian Lynch shows what he can do on 45 Pound Hound and the closing number, in some ways an incongruous selection – Embraceable You – features a brilliant cadenza by an uncredited member of the five-strong reeds (plus three guests – the aforementioned Lynch, David Leon and Phil Doyle).
1. South Florida Jazz Orchestra – Cheap Thrills
2. South Florida Jazz Orchestra – The Place To Be
3. South Florida Jazz Orchestra – Widow’s Walk
4. South Florida Jazz Orchestra – Brace Yourself
5. South Florida Jazz Orchestra – 45 Pound Hound
6. South Florida Jazz Orchestra – Premonition
7. South Florida Jazz Orchestra – Walls
8. South Florida Jazz Orchestra – Sometimes I Have Rhythm
9. South Florida Jazz Orchestra – Embraceable You