The Bird of Paradise Orchestra’s 3rd CD- Bingo!
The Bird of Paradise Orchestra is a 16-piece jazz big band which has performed every Monday night since 1989 at their namesake, the Bird of Paradise jazz club in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Leader, bassist, composer, arranger, and self-proclaimed President-for-life of the BOPO, Paul Keller directs this unique ensemble through dynamic big band material from the entire history of jazz. Although Paul’s credits include extended world tours with the Diana Krall Trio and the Russell Malone Quartet, he has chosen to live and play jazz in Michigan where he can dedicate his boundless creative energy into all that BOPO Records encompasses.
Click here for a recent review of the BOPO's live performances.
The personnel for Bingo! includes:
Paul Keller- bass, leader
Pete Siers- drums
Cary Kocher- vibraphone, percussion
Ellen Rowe or James Dapogny- piano
Paul Finkbeiner, Dave Caswell, Brandon Cooper, Jeff Gedz- trumpets
Chris Smith, Gene Bartley, Brooks Barnes, Mike Pashenee- trombones
Keith Kaminski, Dave Sayers, Mark Keime, Andrew Bishop, Paul Klinger- saxophones
Susan Chastain- vocalist
List of tunes:
1) Jazz Lady After Dark(composed and arranged by Paul Keller)
A swinging opening track in a big band bebop style, dedicated to Mary Anne (the Jazz Lady) Hayes, the BOPO’s #1 fan.
2) I Feel Pretty
Leonard Bernstein’s classic jazz waltz from West Side Story, skillfully arranged by pianist
Ellen Rowe. Featuring solos by the mighty trombonist Christo and even more West Side Story motifs from vibraphonist Cary Kocher.
Baritone and soprano saxophonist Paul Klinger’s rollicking recreation of a 1918 dixieland favorite.
This selection is sure to give you “happy feet”!
4) The Very Thought of You
Another masterful arrangement from the pen of Ellen Rowe, this tender ballad showcases the
great talent of trumpeter Paul Finkbeiner.
5) Just One of Those Things
Vocalist Susan Chastain makes a spectacular entrance on this classic Cole Porter number,
breathtakingly arranged by Paul Keller. Featuring a burning solo by Keith Kaminski on alto sax.
6) Dream a Little Dream of Me
Paul Keller was inspired to write this arrangement for Susan Chastain after performing it
with Diana Krall. This chart for four saxophones and rhythm section spotlights Susan’s warm
interpretation of this beautiful standard ballad.
7) Jack the Bear
The BOPO tips its hat to Duke Ellington with this bluesy 1941 version of the Jimmy Blanton
feature. Nice solos by Christo on trombone and Paul Keller on bass.
8) Chant of the Weed
This nutty 1933 composition from Don Redman of the McKinney’s Cotton Pickers conveys a feeling of altered consciousness. Mark Kieme’s clarinet solo perfectly captures this mysterious quality.
Composed by drummer Matt Wilson, this epic arrangement is from the fertile imagination of Andrew Bishop. This modern jazz piece contains complex chorale figures, changing meters, and solos bordering on the avant-garde from tenor saxophonist Bishop, trumpeter Brandon “Bubber” Cooper, and the awesome “Prince of Pulse”, the “Nabob of Throb”, the “Beater with the Meter”, the BOPO’s great drummer, Pete Siers.
10) I’m Gonna Lock My Heart (and Throw Away the Key)
More great vocals from Susan Chastain on this forgotten gem of a tune. Another fine arrangement by Keller, and a “killing” trombone solo from Christo.
11) Santa Passed My House By
An original creation: words, music and arrangement by one of the BOPO’s two fine pianists, James Dapogny. Susan Chastain delivers this unusual Christmas song with her usual style and grace.
12) Brilliant Corners
Another original work, this time from BOPO School of Music graduate, trumpeter Chris Kase. Kase has written a dozen or so original big band charts for the BOPO, and his contributions to the success of the BOPO are enormous. This tune’s several distinct moods and feelings are punctuated by strong solos from Kaminski and Finkbeiner.
13) What Would Eddie Do?
One more original composition from the BOPO’s leader, Paul Keller, “Eddie” is Keller’s tribute the late Eddie Russ,
a figure revered in the music world, especially in Michigan. The piece captures Eddie’s easygoing, laid-back nature and fondness for Latin rhythms. A subtle tune simply arranged, it has substance and depth- like the man it honors.
14) Flight of the Foo Birds
Count Basie’s flagwaver from the pen of ace arranger Neil Hefti, this tune embodies the joyful spirit the Orchestra displays every Monday night at the Bird of Paradise jazz club.
This CD was discussed a bit on the J. J. Johnson mailing list.
J. J. himself praised the group's "dynamic arrangments" and "fire and energy". In the few months that Bingo! has been out, the band has received nothing but praise for the album.
If you'd like to order Bingo! or other CDs by the Bird of Paradise Orchestra, click on the Order button below to go to an order form, which you should then print out and mail to the specified address.
Please mention somewhere on your order that you went to Christo's Home Page for the CD.
Thanks a lot, and I hope you enjoy!