Photos: Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra Live At DC Jazz Festival

Brad Linde and BCJO i i

Baritone saxophonist Brad Linde (right) is co-leader of the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra. Patrick Jarenwattananon/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Patrick Jarenwattananon/NPR
Brad Linde and BCJO

Baritone saxophonist Brad Linde (right) is co-leader of the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra.

Patrick Jarenwattananon/NPR

With so much drama in Washington, D.C., it was getting kind of hard to be the Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra. (With apologies to the Snoop D-O-double-G.) And when that ensemble folded in late 2009, it took with it an institution that welcomed many of D.C.'s best jazz musicians since 1998, and played a weekly gig at the club Bohemian Caverns. For a fuller report on the sad story, visit Michael J. West's coverage here and here. "Money f——s up everything," said trumpeter and bandleader Thad Wilson.

But out of the ashes of that band rose the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra. Led by saxophonist Brad Linde and trumpeter Joe Herrera, the new ensemble enjoys a residency on Monday nights at the club which it's named after. The band keeps a massive playbook on hand for a group less than two months old — Herrera calls out tunes by their reference number — and a small, standards-heavy samplying was on display last Monday night.

This was no ordinary Monday night, however: the band's regular gig got special promotion from the DC Jazz Festival, and for its first set, the house was nearly full. According to Linde, the big band usually averages 20-25 people. With tight playing in a straight-ahead fashion, and solos for every horn player, much of the crowd seemed delighted at what it saw. Let's hope the group continues to attract audiences — and repel drama.

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Set List:

  1. Moten Swing
  2. Best Coast (J. LaBarbara)
  3. Here's That Rainy Day
  4. Nefertiti (W. Shorter, arr. John Fedchock)
  5. In A Mellow Tone
  6. Take The 'A' Train
  7. The Star-Crossed Lovers
  8. Spectrum (B. Mintzer)
  9. Blues [unidentified]

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