During the war against advanced colo-rectal cancer (from 2006), which included two primary tumors and two recurrences, Fred Ho, hammered by massive chemo and radiation, found inspiration in the fight for his life from watching movies of The Greatest, Muhammad Ali. Ali s bold, militant, defiant and spirited resistance to the forces of American racism, combined with his élan, grace and humor (both poetical and personal), his indisputable athletic abilities and genius, and the inspiration to the world s peoples (especially the oppressed) and their embrace of him, served as constant inspiration to Fred Ho. During one of his recovery periods, Ho decided to compose a work for his Green Monster Big Band to honor The Greatest.
This sequel to the 2003 tribute Word of Mouth Revisited showcases the compositions and arrangements of the legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius. It features Pastorius-influenced bassists, including Victor Wooten, Mark Egan, Gerald Veasley, and Marcus Miller, with a number of Pastorius' ex-sidemen, from trumpeters Randy Brecker and steel drummer Othello Molineaux to drummer Peter Erskine. Peter Graves–a bandmate of the flashy bassist when they both lived in Florida–leads this big band and sticks close to Pastorius' original conceptions, as evidenced by the Latin-tinged "Las Olas," guest-starring the Cuban bass giant Israel "Cachao" Lopez.
Ah-Ching and his friends have just finished school in their island fishing village, and now spend most of their time drinking and fighting. Three of them decide to go to the port city of Kaohsiung to look for work. They find an apartment through relatives, and Ah-Ching is attracted to the girlfriend of a neighbor. There they face the harsh realities of the big city.
Kenny Wheeler has long been a talented composer, improviser, and soloist, though he is still overlooked by some jazz fans because most of his work has been issued by European labels. Among the composers of his generation, Wheeler is one of the best, along with the late Bob Brookmeyer, in writing and scoring creative works for a large ensemble. For this session, Wheeler's charts are performed by a 17-piece big band – with the addition of Diana Torto's wordless vocals – conducted by Pete Churchill.