For an unconventional jazzy good time that’s out of this world, give Ted Kooshian’s Standard Orbit Quartet a spin and you’ll hear music you’ve not heard in years presented in an entirely new light. Inspired by pianist Ted Kooshian’s love of the movies and television shows, this album puts a jazzy slant to some familiar TV and movie theme songs that result in one dynamite recording. If you remember the 60s cartoon “Top Cat” one may not recognize the theme song with this arrangement but it nevertheless works quite well and features the wailing tenor of Jeff Lederer. The popular children’s program, “Captain Kangaroo” is given a hell of a boppish transformation yet retains the recognizable melody with nice solo performances from Kooshian and bassist Tom Hubbard. Cartoon super heroes “Spider Man” and “Batman” are represented here with Lederer featured on the clarinet on the New Orleans-like rendition of “Spider Man,” and the more subdued version of the caped crusader’s theme song. Kooshian departs from his major theme with the inclusion of a very bouncy read of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” containing a stylish solo from the leader and perhaps the best performance from the sax man on this disc. The other rock tune here is Peter Gabriel’s “Don’t Give Up.” Rounding out a fine session of excellent bop jazz is the best take of the only standard on the repertoire with “Baubles, Bangles, and Beads,” and Lalo Schiffrin’s theme song to the famous Steve McQueen movie, “Bullitt” highlighting drummer Warren Odze. For this listener, Ted Kooshian’s Standard Orbit Quartet is a blast from the past conjuring up old but great memories of familiar songs given new and exciting jazzy arrangements that make this album a pleasure to hear often.
by Edward Blanco – ejazznews (2008)