The 14 Jazz Orchestra
Review by Willard Manus


This new CD has a sub-title: "The Future Ain't What It Used to Be." The man behind it is Dan Bonsanti, whose previous CD "Nothing Hard Is Ever Easy" was a commercial success. Having honed his producing and arranging skills at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music, Bonsanti has invited fourteen
ex-classmates and/or teachers to take part in this recording.
Among them are such jazz stalwarts as Ed Calle (tenor sax), Jim Gasior(piano), Ed Maina (piccolo and flute), and Tom Lippincott (guitar). Among the guest artists are Randy Brecker (trumpet & flugelhorn), Rick Margitza (tenor sax), and Marko Marcinko (drums).

Working together as "The 14 Jazz Orchestra," these like-minded musicians explore Bonsanti's interpretations of such compositions as Chick Corea's "Armando's Rhumba," Wayne Shorter's
"Dance Cadaverous," and Sammy Fain's "I'll Be Seeing You" (which the leader has dedicated to the memory of Larry Warrilow, a key member of the South Florida jazz scene until his death in

Among Bonsanti's credits are stints as sax player/arranger with Stan Kenton, Doc Severinsen and Jaco Pastorius' "Word of Mouth Orchestra." He salutes the latter with an intense, hard-driving arrangement of his tune, "Rice Pudding," then proceeds to get into Eliane Elias' "Pandamandium," with Randy Brecker and Ed Calle soloing fierily over a Latin beat.

Thanks to its crisp, tight musicianship and to its fresh-sounding arrangements, this new album is a big-band winner.