David White Jazz Orchestra Second CD 'The Chase' to Be Released 4/8
Trombonist/composer David White formed his powerhouse 17-piece ensemble, the David White Jazz Orchestra, in 2007 and introduced them to the jazz world four years later with his well-received debut, "Flashpoint." "White clearly knows his jazz history," wrote one reviewer, "and strikes a perfect balance by incorporating his musical influences while defining his own progressive style."
White now returns with a follow-up disc, "The Chase," containing six new originals performed by his New York City-based orchestra, many of whose members have been associated with him musically since their high school days in Buffalo, New York two decades ago. The ensemble, while steeped in big-band traditions, takes the music in exciting new directions rife with vibrant voicings and rhythmic variety. White's Mister Shepherd imprint will release the disc on April 8.
"There's a whole palette of orchestral colors within the big band that are not always tapped into," explains the 35-year-old leader. "When you take all the various colors and color combinations that are possible, it's like having a giant box of Crayolas where you can color and draw anything that you can imagine. Contrary to popular opinion, the big band has a rich palette for orchestration. A symphony orchestra has a standard instrumentation, but you wouldn't expect a symphony orchestra to sound a particular way. It's really up to the composer and the orchestrator use those colors in a unique way, and I don't want people to know what to expect when they hear my music."
On the new disc, White's robust trombone gets the solo spotlight on "Persistence," a song he says was inspired by minimalist composer Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians." Other highlights include the fast-burning "Mister Shepherd's Misadventures," with solos by tenor saxophonist Sam Dillon and trumpeter Miki Hirose; "The Shakedown," a funky 24-bar composition featuring alto saxophonist Andrew Gould (who's also worked with the Jon Faddis and Wallace Roney big bands); and "Blues for Sally Draper," a medium-tempo 12-bar blues named for the precocious character on "Mad Men," White's favorite television show.
Growing up in Buffalo, David White played recorder and trumpet before settling on trombone. He played in both the jazz band and concert band in junior high school and was playing professionally by the time he was 14 with a big band at Buffalo's historic Colored Musicians Club led by baritone saxophonist Macy Favor.
"Macy was an important father figure since I had a single mother and my grandfather had passed," White says. "Music was always something that added discipline in my life. There's the discipline of practicing. There's the discipline of being in bands, which is more responsibility than a lot of 14-year-olds would have had. It let me get a lot of my trial and error out of the way at an early age. It was tuning my ear to blending with other musicians to playing in a trombone section to balancing the trombone section with the rest of the band."