Elements and Orbits is a collection of 7 compositions, each with its own special character, coincidentally representing some of the diversity in the Jazz genre. They range from the “funky” title composition “Elements and Orbits” to the serene and gentle “A New Romance” and include the 6/8 to 4/4 shifting meter of “Grand Bay -Top Hill, the “toe tapper” in “Big Daddy”, the collective improvisation in “Episode of a Coincidence, and the Latin flare in “How Far is Far”. Six of these compositions come from the pen of composer/arranger Randolph Noel. The other is Mr. Noel’s arrangement of the iconic Thomas “Fats” Waller composition “Jitterbug Waltz”.
Featured personnel for this recoding include veteran musicians and leaders of their own sessions: trombonist Clifton Anderson, bassist Kenny Davis, alto saxophonist David Glasser, tenor saxophonist Lance Bryant, percussionist Donald Eaton, tubaist Earl McIntyre, and flautist Craig Rivers. Also featured are some wonderful “younger” musicians; drummer Jarrett Walser, clarinetist Ato Noel, and trumpeter James Haddad.
The opening track “Grand Bay-Top Hill and 3rd track “A New Romance” include Solomon Elyaho (bass clarinet), Martha Hyde (oboe), Marshall Sealy (French horn), and a 12-piece string section with long time associates Sandra Billingslea, Cecelia Hobbs-Gardner, and Clarissa Howell. Belinda Whitney is the concertmaster.