Swiss Youth Jazz Orchestra – Heaven Help Us All
Take some 1960s and ‘70s jazz, soul and funk, and put them into the hands and hearts of some young people from Switzerland and other countries, you might be astonished by the result. Heaven Help Us All (Shanti Records, 2016) by the Swiss Youth Jazz Orchestra mixes old, new and lots of energy.
The orchestra is comprised of Sharon Renold, vocals and bass; Rit Xu, flute; Sara El Hachimi, alto sax; Felix Piringer, tenor sax and EWI; Mia Stauffacher, baritone sax; Gergo Szax and Dmitry Zinakov, trumpets; Florian Weiss and Sebastian Wey, trombones; Claude Stucki, guitar; Mary Rasshohovatskaya, keyboards; and Roberto Carella, drums. Additional players are Oli Rockberger, vocals and keyboard; Franke Greene, trumpet; Tony Lakatos, tenor sax; Marques Young, trombone; Neil Jason, bass; and Billy Cobham, drums. The orchestra is directed by Fritz K. Renold, who composed two original songs, “Blues for George” and “No Way Boss.”
“Ridiculous,” was written by and features Rockberger. He sings of a relationship with someone who seems not to notice him. He wonders if it’s ridiculous, if it’s really out of the question, for them to be together. The sense of longing comes through loud and clear in his singing. After a brief interlude by Stucki, an uncredited soprano sax player cuts loose on a blistering, pleading solo. The song is big band jazz meets old-school soul.