Sonoma Valley Jazz Band: Spectacular ’74


Surprisingly great High School record from right in my own backyard that I’d never come across ’til recently. Sleeve is scant on info but it seems to be split between two local schools of which the kids on side B especially get down like nobody’s business. Very together playing and well chosen covers really set this apart from the slew of other one-track (or worse) school records one comes across so often. Their supercharged versions of Eli’s Coming & Spinning Wheel take a page right out of Maynard Ferguson’s late 60’s playbook and are particular highlights.

“Spinning Wheel”

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“Eli’s Coming”

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“MacArthur Park”

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3 Comments

  • Oh good lawd, they nailed that “MacArthur Park” rather well. I suspect that trumpet player in the beginning isn’t one of the students though.

  • Wow! amazing arrangements and performance for a HS band. I did not even know this existed! thanks for posting.

  • The trumpet player was a student. They all were. The SVJB existed from about 1973 to 1976. We (I was a trombone player in the group) were able to play on a European tour in 1976 after which the band folded due to school distric poltics. The band director was the middle school science teacher not the high school band director. For 3 years you could here everything from Glenn Miller, Woody Herman, Maynard to Sammy Nestico in the Sonome square on weekends.

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