New Orleans Classic Big Band
Blueberry Hill - James Williams
celebrating Louis Armstrong with Gordon Jenkins Orchestra
writer Vincent Rose, Larry Stock, Al Lewis
vocalist James Williams
adapted from arrangement courtesy of Louis Armstrong House Museum
celebrating Duke Ellington and His Orchestra
writer Billy Strayhorn
vocalist Michael Watson
arranger Ricardo Pascal
- "highly affable, Satchmo-voiced singer and trumpeter James Williams"
- "channelling Louis, doing so with gravelly relish"
- "exuberant trumpet work"
- "Williams and company kept the flame for vintage jazz"
- "Vocalist and trombonist Michael Watson gave a smooth and soulful treatment to The Lush Life"
- "It was the full ensemble, however, who drew the most enthusiastic audience response, as they snapped into New Orleans marching band mode, leaving the stage to create orchestrated mayhem in the stalls – a bunch of swaggering saints on the march."
- Edinburgh Jazz Festival Reviews, July 21, 2017
The New Orleans Classic Big Band formed this summer from the musicians of the New Orleans Swamp Donkeys Traditional Jass Band, Soul Brass Band, plus special guests. On July 19, 2017 the band debuted at the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival in Scotland, joined by a few colleagues from the Groove Merchant Jazz Orchestra. This supergroup of New Orleans talent and friends plays the greats – Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, etc – and also features the work of top composers and arrangers from New Orleans. The band even played some vintage arrangements courtesy of the Louis Armstrong House Museum.