George Schuller's ORANGE THEN BLUE (USA)
George Schuller himself was so kind as to provide me with the lineups for his bands ORANGE THEN BLUE and ORANGE THEN LIGHT BLUE (jump to → Orange Than Light Blue).
Answering my request to identify the core group, he remarked: "Well, it's difficult to pin down the "core" group at any given time since the band changed personnel many times between 1984 - 97. However, the Orange Then Blue started with 9 musicians, all having attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston at the time. Of course, with each recording, the "core" group evolved, but I can give you at least four of them spread out over the 13 years. The first incarnation was all Boston musicians (1984). Over the years, it eventually became half-Boston / half-New York by 1992. The last gig in 1997 was with all New York based musicians."
Orange Then Blue (First gig - Sept 1984)
George Schuller: "This was the original core group. We formed as a cooperative band...the purpose was to play and compose original compositions for 12 piece ensemble in a jazz workshop setting. By the late 80's, I became the leader by default.
In order to fill out the band in those early days, we added another trumpet, trombone and percussionist to make it a 12 piece band...all of them chosen from the Boston classical freelance scene (interestingly enough). Jazz freelancers such as Greg Gisbert (trumpet) and Gary Valente (trombone) had also filled in on occasion. By the spring of 1986, we had settled on the band that would end up recording the first album, Orange Then Blue: Music for Jazz Orchestra."
Orange Then Blue (1986)
George Schuller: "Between 1986 - 92, some of the notables that performed with us as guests included":
George Schuller: "By the time we recorded Funkallero (1989), the band consisted of":
George Schuller: "After we toured Western Canada in June of 1992, we recorded While You Were Out at Banff. This is when the band was split between musicians from Boston and New York. We also replaced the percussion chair with French horn."
George Schuller: "Finally, while on tour in Europe (1995), we released some live material on the CD Hold the Elevator with an all New York ensemble":
George Schuller: "Some notables that played with us during this period until the last gig included":
George Schuller: "Just to complicate things, I also formed a smaller. more travel-friendly version of OTB called ORANGE THEN LIGHT BLUE. At first we toured as a seven-piece band in the Middle East (1994)":
George Schuller: "On subsequent tours, we added cello to become an Octet. There are no commercially issued recordings of this band, but we did record an album's worth of material at the Knitting Factory. Not sure if I will ever be able to release it."
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