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LIVE REVIEWS

Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra: Cambridge, April 29, 2011

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Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra YMCA Theater Cambridge, MA April 29, 2011 A local community center turned into a forward-thinking artistic venue when the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra ascended the small stage at the Cambridge YMCA. The JCAO plays original works by a membership drawn from Boston's (naturally) progressive jazz community, with several performers doubling as faculty at Berklee College of Music and other renowned local institutions. This diverse talent pool draws from an even wider range of influences from inside and well outside of jazz: straight-ahead, free, world music via ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Darrell Katz and the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra: A Wallflower In The Amazon

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The Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra has been part of the Boston music scene since 1985, and A Wallflower In The Amazon is the eighth album in the group's history. Darrell Katz, the Orchestra's Director, has been involved since the beginning: his arrangements on this album draw on this experience to showcase the individual talents of the Orchestra's members, while also drawing them together in some complex but accessible ensemble passages. Rebecca Shrimpton delivers a beautiful vocal performance on Duke Ellington's “I Like the Sunrise," interweaving her voice with Natalie Dietrich's subtle vibraphone, as well as with the ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Big Sounds from Beantown: Darrell Katz and the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra

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Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra In, Thru and Out Cadence Jazz 2004 Established in 1985, Boston's Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra is an ever-evolving collective, one that continues to build on its reputation as a peerless conduit of modern big band compositions. While premiering specially commissioned works by Marty Ehrlich, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Wayne Horvitz, JCAO has also featured compositions by Dave Holland, Julius Hemphill, Tim Berne, Henry Threadgill, Steve Lacy, Sam Rivers, and other heavyweights. In, Thru and Out is a live recording from 2001, and features six ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra: In, Thru, and Out

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The Jazz Composers Alliance (JCA) Orchestra was formed in 1985 and boasts of having “some of New England’s finest improvising musicians.” That is proved on this live recording. More importantly, the recording shows the compositional skills of resident composers Laura Andel, Warren Senders, David Harris, and Darrell Katz, who is the founder and director of the JCA. All four have strength for structure. They also leave enough room for the creative designs of improvisation. In tandem, the music takes on a beckoning shape and edge.

The band brings in a rich tapestry of sound, a distinct proclivity ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra: In, Thru, And Out

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The exotic title track for this big band recording opens the album with a bang. Screeching trumpets, growling trombones, and a whistling piccolo create a jungle scene that allows for the merging of contemporary orchestral music with those timbres most familiar to a big band. Individual cadenzas weave between powerful ensemble statements. Composers David Harris, Darrell Katz, Laura Andel and Warren Senders express their thoughts with the world’s music at hand.

Later, pieces that reflect mystical journeys through time, and foreboding landscapes from distant lands, appear to light the sparks of our imagination. The orchestra’s collage of ...



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