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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Swiss Jazz Orchestra: Sincerely Yours

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The world-class Swiss Jazz Orchestra produced the 2-CD set Sincerely Yours to mark its tenth anniversary in 2013. As is the SJO's custom, the nineteen tracks were taped during a series of stellar concert performances spanning those years, showcasing the orchestra's excellence as a unit and its roster of impressive soloists performing compositions and arrangements by some of the brightest stars, past and present, in the jazz firmament. And even though the ensemble needs no help, a number of renowned guests stop by to add their sizable talents to the mix: alto saxophonist George Robert ("Missing You"), trumpeter Bert Joris ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Swiss Jazz Orchestra: Live at Jazzfestival Bern

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Live at Jazzfestival Bern (Mons) Some big-band albums are heated and brassy, others cool and understated, while a precious few simply cast a mesmerizing spell. “Live at Jazzfestival Bern," recorded in May 2013 by the unerring Swiss Jazz Orchestra, drops anchor squarely in the last of those realms, thanks in part to the ensemble's perceptive choice of material and even more so to the conclusive brilliance of guest artists Paquito D'Rivera, Claudio Roditi and Michael Zisman. Needless to say, any solo by trumpeter Rodito or alto saxophonist D'Rivera is worth hearing and savoring more than ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Swiss Jazz School Orchestra: Shades of Time

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Five years have passed since last I saw and heard the Swiss Jazz Orchestra in New York City, and this latest album (there is at least one other, Live in Montreux, that I know of) serves as a welcome reminder of what an outstanding ensemble it is. The SJSO, ably directed by world-class trumpeter Bert Joris, has devised a provocative game plan this time around, using a different professional soloist on each of the album’s nine selections, starting with Joris himself on his own rip-snorting composition, “Kong’s Garden.”

Except for vibraphonist Silvano Bazan, who performs Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler’s ...



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