The Widespread Depression Jazz Orchestra
was a nine-piece jazz
ensemble founded in 1972 at Vermont
's Marlboro College
Initially, the group played 1950's style R&B and early rock and roll with guitars, piano, sax, bass guitar, drums, and a vocalist, but by the middle of the 1970s was operating as a big band revival group, in the style of the bands of Jimmie Lunceford, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Lionel Hampton. The unit moved to New York in 1978 under the leadership of Jon Holtzmann, when it recorded the first of several full-length albums. In 1980 five of its members played on their own as a bebop group.
Holtzmann left the group around 1982, when Michael Hashim, the group's high saxophonist, was named leader. He renamed the group the Widespread Jazz Orchestra, and broadened their repertory to include swing and bop. They played regularly at New York's Cafe Gianluca in 1988.
- Downtown Uproar (Stash Records, 1979)
- Boogie in the Barnyard (Stash, 1980)
- Swing is the Thing (Adelphi Records, 1982)
- Rockin' in Rhythm
- Paris Blues (1984)
- Gary W. Kennedy, "Widespread Depression Jazz Orchestra". Grove Jazz online.
- W. R. Stokes: “Uplifting Depression,” Washington Post (19 April 1979)
- W. R. Stokes: “The Little Big Band,” Washington Post (2 March 1980)
- J. S. Wilson: “Jazz: Depression Quintet,” New York Times (26 Dec 1980)
- C. Cioe: “Backbeat: Widespread Jazz – No Longer Depressed!,” High Fidelity, vol.33 no.7 (1983), p. 84 (with discography)
- J. S. Wilson: “A New Big Band Identity,” New York Times (19 May 1988)