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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra: Strength in Numbers

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For the second album as leader of his jazz orchestra, New York-based Pete McGuinness says he has “returned to [his] roots," fashioning a series of dapper themes that embody his forward-looking point of view while swinging in the grand tradition of such legendary ensembles as Basie, Herman, Thad Jones and others. When someone like Bill Holman says (as he does) “wonderful writing," the tendency is to sit up and take notice. One keynote that's immediately clear is that Holman is, as usual, spot on, and that McGuinness ranks high among the jazz world's most skillful contemporary composer / arrangers, one ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pete McGuinness: Voice Like A Horn

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"Did you hear the one about the singing trombonist?." It's not even a joke because there have been many a fine trombonist that also sing, to wit: beginning with the inestimable Jack Teagarden. Then there's Billy Eckstine, Wycliffe Gordon, Henry Darragh, Natalie Cressman, and one Pete McGuinness who releases his third recording as leader, Voice Like A Horn. It is McGuinness' vocal abilities that are showcased on this recording, where the singer is supported by a piano trio augmented with special guests. McGuinness is best known for his association with the Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra, whose First ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra: First Flight

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As a licensed pilot I have fond memories of the first time I took the controls of an airplane on my solo flight and the proud sense of accomplishment one feels when you've landed alive and relieved. That enormous sense of accomplishment is what I'm sure trombonist Pete McGuinness must have felt when he launched his own big band on its First Flight with an impressive debut recording after twenty years as a sideman, composer and arranger with some of the finest big bands in the business.

For this debut, McGuinness contributes six original tunes and resurrects three old standards ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra: First Flight

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Pete McGuinness has been leading his own groups since the 1990s, but the closest he came to helming a big band was as co-leader of The Newyorkestra. He changed the pattern in September 2006 when he formed the Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra which, later that year, he took into the recording studio.

McGuinness shows his multiple talents on the resulting CD. He has written six of the nine compositions, all of the arrangements, sings on two and plays trombone on all. The charts open with a sound that is upfront and modern, with the ensemble lines neatly woven ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra: First Flight

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Trombonist/composer/arranger Pete McGuinness has twenty years on the New York jazz scene under his belt, playing with the Woody Herman Big Band (directed by Frank Tibieri) and the Maria Schneider Orchestra, alongside studies with trombonist Bob Brookmeyer and Manny Album. So it's no surprise that his first recording leading his Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra, First Flight, soars and swings with the best of them.Like all of the best large ensemble leaders, McGuinness showcases the talents of his band members, opening the show with his title tune. It starts out with a bright big band fanfare before featuring a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra: First Flight

Read "First Flight" reviewed by

On the aptly named First Flight, the inaugural recording as leader of his own big band, Pete McGuinness does almost everything except drive the band bus and clean up the studio afterward--and I wouldn't doubt that he did that as well.

McGuinness wrote six of the album's nine tunes, arranged them all, crafts likable trombone solos on three numbers, and sings on two more--Charlie Chaplin's “Smile and his urbane finale, “A Fond Farewell. Happily, he does everything well, and is well-served by a splendid ensemble that ardently embraces his ideas and helps make them sparkle. McGuinness has paid his dues, ...



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