The WDR Big Band Cologne - CD






Product Code: WDR
Author: Bill Dobbins and Peter Erskine
Publisher: Advance Music
Publisher SKU: 2000011

The WDR Big Band Cologne plays music of Bill Dobbins and Peter Erskine, arranged and conducted by Bill Dobbins and featuring Peter Erskine on drums. Music CD only.

Track listing:

1. Loose Your Life (and It Will Surely Find You) 6:40
Bill Dobbins
Solos: Peter Erskine, drums; Olivier Peters, tenor saxophone
2. Elegy 7:39
Bill Dobbins
Solo: Frank Chastenier, piano
3. Seibernetics 13.54
Bill Dobbins
Solos: Heiner Wiberny, alto saxophone; John Marshall, trumpet; Frank Chastenier, piano; Henning Berg, trombone; Olivier Peters, tenor saxophone; Peter Erskine, drums
4. Song for Jaco 7:29
Peter Erskine/arr. Bill Dobbins
Solos: Jens Neufang, baritone saxophone; Andy Haderer, flügelhorn/trumpet; John Goldsby, bass
5. Lo Flame 8:13
Bill Dobbins
Solos: Frank Chastenier, piano; Klaus Osterloh, Rob Bruynen, John Marshall, Rick Kiefer, Andy Haderer, trumpet; Paul Shigihara, guitar; Peter Erskine, drums
6. Prism 7:23
Bill Dobbins
Solos: Heiner Wiberny, alto saxophone; Peter Erskine, drums
7. If Only I Had Known 6:24
Peter Erskine/arr. Bill Dobbins
Solos: Rolf Römer, tenor saxophone; John Marshall, trumpet
8. Bulgaria 12:16
Peter Erskine/arr. Bill Dobbins
Solos: Peter Erskine, drums; Ludwig Nuss, trombone; Frank Chastenier, piano; Heiner Wiberny, soprano saxophone

Since September , 1994, I have had the unique pleasure of working with and writing for one of the very best big bands in the world. If you have already listened to the CD, you certainly need no further evidence. If you havent already listened to it, then you are in for a real treat. As if the exceptional lead instrumentalists, the long list of outstanding soloists and the incredible range of woodwind doubling were not enough, this band has the luxury of actually earning its living simply from playing music together on a daily basis throughout the year. This results in a level of ensemble playing which is nearly impossible to achieve, even with the best musicians, in the more usual free lance situations. Such conditions are only possible because this band is employed full time by the WDR (West German Radio, actually West-Deutscher Rundfunk).

Since this is the band's first CD of my compositions and arrangements, I tried to put together a program which showcases the bands broad musical spectrum and solo talent to maximum advantage. It was an extra special pleasure to collaborate with guest drummer and composer Peter Erskine. Peter has done a couple of projects a year with the band, including an enormously successful appearance at the January, 1998 convention of the International Association of Jazz Educators in New York City. Peters compositions offer a lot of room for the arrangers imagination, and the combination of his unique gifts as a drummer with the capabilities of our band is truly a writers dream. The first four pieces are from studio productions with Peter, and the last four are from a live concert at the Stadtgarten, a local club in Cologne which is one of several venues where the band performs on a regular basis.

I listened to this without knowing who did what, but my impression turned out to be the truth. The arrangements are obviously by Bill Dobbins and are of such high quality that one is flabbergasted by listening. Elegy is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard wistful and lovely and Lo Flame has some brilliant trumpet writing in it. Heiner Wiberny is probably one of the best lead alto players I have known and you soon recognize the difference between the tenor sax sounds of Olivier Peters and Rolf Römer and their succeeding styles. Henning Berg is immediately identifiable by his sound and style of playing. Also identifiable is Andy Haderer, both in style and his tone. The band is absolutely in top shape and has played all of this material exceedingly well. (Clare Fischer)