Toronto Jazz Orchestra, 20, (TJO)
Something drifting down from Canada that is far less disturbing than the smoke you saw in yesterday’s post is an album celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Toronto Jazz Orchestra. Arrangements by the TJO’s director, Josh Grossman, include an extended four-part suite in tribute to one of his inspirations, the 95-year-old bandleader and arranger Phil Nimmons. Solo high points in the suite are by the incisive clarinetist Paul Metcalfe and pianist Carissa Neufeld. There are plenty of other notable soloists, including alto saxophonist Jake Kauffman and trombonists Pat Blanchard and Christian Overton. Ms. Neufeld sparkles quietly in the appropriately titled “Reflection.” Grossman’s writing for the ensemble commands attention throughout the album. The TJO brings off his work with spontaneous-sounding verve that grows out of hard work. Two decades of togetherness can do that for a band.