The San Jose Jazz Society commissioned composer/trombonist Dave Eshelman to write a piece to celebrate the life and times of the city of San Jose, CA, the so-called capitol of Silicon Valley. Eshelman created a suite in four movements called "Temperature Rising: Suite for Jazz Orchestra" and conducted the jazz orchestra (really his Jazz Garden Big Band) in the performance of the piece. Each movement represents part of the ambience and life of the city. The first, "Metro," with its swinging motif symbolizes the hustle, bustle, and vitality of downtown. The second movement swirls to represent the life flow of the city and to those ingredients which contribute to that flow. Movement three is an unabashed paean to the then-mayor, with Sarah Schweppe singing a hymn of thanks for the mayor's leadership. The suite ends with "Samba de San Jose," a swinging dance designed to symbolize the coming together of the various cultures represented by the life and people of the city. Too often, so-called jazz suites for large orchestra try to emulate their classical symphonic counterparts. Not here. This music swings and wears its jazz clothes with pride and attitude. In addition to the tight, but not constricted, ensemble playing, there are some fine solos throughout by Eshelman, Chuck MacKinnon, and Mary Fettig, and a wild ride on a roller-coaster tenor provided by Bennett Friedman. This CD is an enjoyable 29 minutes of steady big band music in the modern vein. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan