The Michael Leonhart Orchestra Brightens Spirits For the New Year, on Morning Jazz
Michael Leonhart could be a chameleon.
He’s a trumpeter who composes for both small and large ensembles, even as he serves as an arranger and producer (and trumpeter) for Steely Dan. What a hip treat it was to have Michael come to Morning Jazz with his 15-piece orchestra, which has a monthly residency at Jazz Standard.
The result was an hourlong Invention Convention, featuring rapper JSWISS on Eric B & Rakim’s mashup of Herbie Hancock’s “Oliloqui Valley,” some late-‘60’s Eddie Harris, and John Scofield’s “Camp Out,” a reimagining of Allan Sherman’s 1963 novelty hit “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (A Letter From Camp).”
We’ll also hear a piece from Leonhart’s Painted Lady Suite, inspired by a father/son trip to a museum to explore butterflies. The orchestra takes flight again tonight as part of NPR’s four-hour “Toast of the Nation” broadcast, beginning at 8 p.m.
The Michael Leonhart Orchestra:
Michael Leonhart, leader/trumpet; JSWISS, rap; Ludovica Burtone and Leanor Falcon, violins; Chris Bullock, flutes; Scott Wendholt and John Bailey, trumpets; Donny McCaslin, tenor saxophone; Jason Marshall, baritone saxophone; Ray Mason, trombone; Jeff Nelson, bass trombone; Robbie Mangano, guitar; Danton Boller, bass; Elizabeth Pupo-Walker, percussion; Kevin Raczka, drums.
Audio mix: Corey Goldberg