This week’s Vinyl Vault features a medium band with a big band sound, the Widespread Jazz Orchestra and their 1985 release, “Paris Blues.” This was the band’s sixth album and this one came out on Columbia. It also turned out to be the band’s last.

The band began life as the Widespread Depression Orchestra in northern Vermont at Marlboro College. Their initial repertoire focused on R&B and jump blues from the 1930s and 40s, hence the word “Depression” in the band’s name. Long-time listeners of the Vinyl Vault will recall that the Widespread Depression Orchestra has made many appearances over the years due to three other WDO albums in the Vault. This one is a recent acquisition and a worthy one at that and this Tuesday will be its debut.

There’s never been anything depressing about this band’s music. Even as it moved to more of a swinging jazz sound, the song selection and playing was always enthusiastically upbeat. This version of the band featured several players that have gone on to make a name for themselves individually in the jazz world. Probably the most prominent among them is pianist and arranger Mike LaDonne who joined this band right out of the New England Conservatory. He’s gone on to become a band leader in his own right and he’s released several albums under his own name which all receive steady airplay on KUVO.

Another “name” in the band was trumpeter Randy Sandke who has since released more than 20 albums under his own name and he’s also worked consistently as a side man and studio musician. Although not as prolific, Sandke’s brother, trumpeter Jordan Sandke was in the band as well.

The tunes are primarily covers of tunes from the mid-20th Century including four Ellington compositions. But the programme also features some originals by members of the band.

Join the Vinyl Vault with Geoff Anderson on Tuesday, November 9, at 8:30 pm for some swingin’ tunes guaranteed to make your toe tap and maybe even get you out of your chair for some Tuesday evening rug cutting. The Vinyl Vault, only on KUVO JAZZ.

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