David’s July Music Pick: Jeff Sanford’s Jazz Orchestra, Nothing Wrong. The Music of Lenny Carlson


Jeff Sanford’s Jazz Orchestra

Nothing Wrong

The Music of Lenny Carlson

This CD’s happy brilliance is the result of a group of local world-class musicians who play together regularly and who have bribed, threatened, or coerced Grammy-nominated composer Lenny Carlson to an exclusive long-term contract.  The resulting melding of the composer and orchestra has produced an organic collaboration of stylistic playfulness that never fails to make me smile when I listen to it.

One of the tracks on the CD is titled, Cartoon Jazz Dance, and I think that describes a bit of the mood that must be at the soul of Lenny Carlson, at least the part of him that composed these tunes.  In fact, this project is an evolution of Jeff Sanford’s Cartoon Jazz Band, a group that started as a “rehearsal band,” getting together on Monday nights to play big band music.

These compositions spice up their melodies by blending the syncopated rhythms of jazz with the flavors and influences of the Tango, Salvador Dali, Kellyanne Conway (don’t let that scare you off), Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker, just to name a few- and I’m naming these few by quoting from the liner notes.  Whether you’ll hear these influences articulated in the individual pieces as you might imagine depends on your own interpretation.  This is not the serious, introspective music of Miles Davis and the like, but it is seriously playful, expertly executed inventive music that I find I enjoy all the more with repeated listening.


I have not found this CD on Tidal or Qobuz, yet, but you can purchase it from CD Baby or Amazon, or Digitalvictrola.com.


This link lets you listen to the tracks: Nothing Wrong


Jeff Sanford’s Jazz Orchestra Personnel
Jeff Sanford: clarinet, soprano sax (1, 10), alto sax (2, 3, 12, 14)
Hal Richards: bass clarinet, tenor sax (1, 3, 4, 6), flute (2,14),
Eric Wayne: trumpet, cornet (6, 10, 13)
Zachariah Spellman: tuba (except 10)
Matt Montgomery: violin (2, 3, 4, 5, 9)
Andy Ostwald: piano
Randy Johnson: electric guitar, banjo (10)
Simon Planting: double bass
Mark Rosengarden: drums
San Francisco Audiophile Society

San Francisco Audiophile Society