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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jukkis Uotila / Stockholm Jazz Orchestra: The Music of Jukkis Uotila

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The Music of Jukkis Uotila presents an exciting array of modern big band arrangements performed by The Stockholm Jazz Orchestra (SJO), with compositions provided by SJO's drummer and occasional pianist, Jukkis Uotila. For over twenty-five years, the SJO has been at the forefront of big band music, proving that it's possible to explore innovation while remaining loyal to a fundamental swing. One of the ways SJO keeps their music fresh is by working with an impressive roster of guest stars, which over the years has included luminaries such as trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, drummer Mel Lewis, pianist Jim McNeely, and legendary ...

BIG BAND CARAVAN

Eric Miyashiro / CNY Jazz Orchestra / No Name Horses / Stockholm Jazz Orchestra / Howard University Jazz Ensemble

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> Eric Miyashiro Pleiades Village Music 2008

The rationale for Pleiades was simple: trumpet master Eric Miyashiro wanted to say a proper goodbye to his “all-time hero," the late Maynard Ferguson, and do it the way he does best--aiming his horn toward the stratosphere and shaking down some stars, as his mentor, the incomparable Monarch of the High Cs, often did. As it turns out, Miyashiro and his EM ensemble not only accomplished that purpose but in doing so have produced one of the year's most powerful and persuasive big-band albums.

Miyashiro raises ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stockholm Jazz Orchestra: Stockholm Jazz Orchestra plays Stockholm Jazz Orchestra

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The Stockholm Jazz Orchestra is a world class outfit. Led by veteran trumpet player Fredrik Noren and featuring arrangements by Chicago pianist Jim McNeely, its members come from all over Sweden and beyond in a fascinating meeting of generations. Consider, if you will, the trumpet section where grey-haired, moustachioed Gustavo Bergalli, born 1940 in Buenos Aires (ex-Michel Legrand and Gato Barbieri), sits alongside Karl Olandersson, born 1978, who with his pin-up boy looks and occasional vocals, reminds you of a latter day Chet Baker, before the white stuff got to him.

As the title implies, all the numbers ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stockholm Jazz Orchestra: Sailing

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This is the second volume by the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra of compositions and arrangements by its talented pianist, Göran Strandberg, following 2000's Lakes (Dragon). As on that earlier album, much of the music is Strandberg's, with half a dozen of his original works complementing inventive arrangements of Harold Arlen's “Come Rain or Come Shine, Jerome Kern's “Yesterdays, Johnny Mandel's “The Shadow of Your Smile and Carla Bley's “Flags.

Strandberg's fertile imagination is conspicuous at the outset with an elliptical approach to “Come Rain or Come Shine that would probably have left the composer, Arlen, scratching his head and asking, “Did ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Stockholm Jazz Orchestra: Tango

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Stockholm isn’t as far from Buenos Aires as one might have assumed. Faced with the daunting task of adapting Argentina’s most popular dance music to a big–band framework, the Swedes who comprise the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra perform like native–born South Americans in a persuasive session that would no doubt have brought a smile to the lips of the late great tango master Astor Piazzolla. The SJO is staunchly supported in its endeavor by three Argentinians — conductor / arranger Carlos Franzetti, trumpeter Gustavo Bergalli and bandoneon virtuoso Juan–José Mosalini. The idea for the album was Bergalli’s, and it was a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Stockholm Jazz Orchestra: Tango

Read "Tango"

Stockholm isn’t as far from Buenos Aires as one might have assumed. Faced with the daunting task of adapting Argentina’s most popular dance music to a big–band framework, the Swedes who comprise the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra perform like native–born South Americans in a persuasive session that would no doubt have brought a smile to the lips of the late great tango master Astor Piazzolla. The SJO is staunchly supported in its endeavor by three Argentinians — conductor / arranger Carlos Franzetti, trumpeter Gustavo Bergalli and bandoneon virtuoso Juan–José Mosalini. The idea for the album was Bergalli’s, and it was a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Stockholm Jazz Orchestra & Jim McNeely: Sound Bites

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As a partisan of straight–ahead big–band Jazz, I approach cautiously any album encompassing Jim McNeely’s music, as I can never be sure before listening which of the two McNeelys may show up, the laid–back moderate or the wild–eyed extremist. Happily, Sound Bites, recorded with the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra in ’95 and featuring on four tracks McNeely’s amply endowed teammate in the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, saxophonist Dick Oatts, is about as plainspoken and swinging as a big–band date can be. McNeely’s seven charts (and four compositions), while no less demanding than one usually envisions from him, offer the SJO a picturesque ...



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