|About this Recording
86010-2 - UMO JAZZ ORCHESTRA: Umo Jazz Orchestra
UMO was founded in 1975 by a group of Finnish jazz players who felt it was high time their country had a big band made up of professional musicians. However not until 1984 did UMO become a full-time orchestra. During its existence it has been home for some of the finest Finnish jazz musicians and in Finland it acts as something in the nature of a practical jazz academy. Over the years UMO has made numerous successful tours to the United States, Canada, Italy and Germany. In the summer of 1994 they went on a notable tour of Europe with vocalist Natalie Cole and two years later the band received another highly prestigious gig in the form of a six-week tour supporting Manhattan Transfer.
When Dizzy Gillespie visited Finland as a soloist with UMO, he was not merely being polite when he said the orchestra was one of the best he had ever heard, for similar praise has been received on a number of occasions. During the twenty-two years since it was founded UMO has acted host to a legion of guest artists, many of them among the greatest names in their field. Recognition of the orchestra‚s high standard has also been publicly expressed by such conductors as Thad Jones, Gil Evans,Benny Carter, Bob Brookmeyer and Muhal Richard Abrams. The late Mercer Ellington was so taken with the UMO sound that he gave the orchestra many of his band’s original arrangements.
UMO has over a thousand works in its repertoire ranging from 1930s classics right up to experimental jazz and is in fact equally at home with the most varied of material. The selections on this disc are by UMO players past and present giving an overview of Finnish jazz composition from the past 20 years. UMO has so far released thirteen albums of its own but this is the first aimed at a wide international audience. The time has now come to reap the harvest of twenty-two years of hard work.
Tom Sandberg, translated by Susan Sinisalo
Pentti Lahti asax, ssax, fl
Trumpets & fluegelhorns
Jarmo Saari (2,4,9,10)
Kari Heinilä (1,2,4,6,7,8)
Trumpet & Fluegelhorn solos
Bina Nkwazi (2)
Eero Koivistoinen (8)
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