Either/Orchestra - Across the Omniverse
Actually a local band on a local label, E/O has been around for a while, and Across the Omniverse is the 10th anniversary album of this 10-piece little big band. The band has five previous albums, and this latest one is an amalgamation of material they felt did not belong on any of the other releases but which is pretty impressive nonetheless.
E/O is a semi-rotating orchestra which has had many subs and guests and has included John Medeski of MMW, Matt Wilson, and Rush Gershon, who founded Accurate Records in Cambridge in order to produce the avant-garde jazz nobody else wanted.
The band does many covers and a lot of originals, too. Medeski can be heard making a rare grand piano performance in "Born in a Suitcase," and the "Caravan" arrangement should be part of any Duke collection. There are 20 other tracks on two discs, and the liner notes include group pictures, descriptions of each song on this compilation, and a list of every venue they have ever played around the United States (and slightly beyond). Certainly a well done anniversary project.
A fun, unpretentious sound, and a great stage presence make E/O worth seeing, especially with the Jazz Mandolin Project, on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. in the Somerville Theater (off the red line at Davis Square). Tic-kets are $15 in advance, $16 the day of show, available from Ticketmaster (931-2000) or the box office itself.