OK, SO THE TITLES are a bit redundant: "The Buck Creek Jazz Band Is Ten Years Old" and "The Buck Creek Jazz Band Celebrates Its 10th Year."
Truth is, the message is worth repeating to anyone unfamiliar with this Washington-based traditional jazz septet. And besides, if you like one of these albums, you're bound to like the other.
"Ten Years Old" blends such chestnuts as "Carry Me Back to Virginia" and "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" with less familiar tunes (a BCJB speciality) and one original piece -- trombonist Frank Mesich's festive "495 March." (If the message was indeed inspired by the Beltway, traffic must have been flowing briskly that day.) "10th Year," on the other hand, delves deeper into Tinpan Alley and swing era obscurities, yielding such gems as a colorfully rearranged version of "Mecca Flat Blues" and the relentlessly swinging "African Queen."
However, it's not the tunes that grab you so much as the crisp ensembles and spirited solos. John Skillman's marvelously supple clarinet lines and Jim Ritter's expressive cornet stand out in a frontline top heavy with talent, and the rhythm section never lets you forget that this music was made for dancing. BUCK CREEK JAZZ BAND --
"The Buck Creek Jazz Band Is Ten Years Old" (Buck Creek BC 105) and "The Buck Creek Jazz Band Celebrates Its 10th Year" (Buck Creek BC 106). Appearing Sunday at the Springfield Hilton.