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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Colin Towns / HR-BigBand: Visions of Miles: The Electric Period of Miles Davis

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With the 2009 release of the 70-CD The Complete Columbia Album Collection, attention continues to focus on the late Miles Davis, a trumpeter who may have had equals or betters in the technical department, but was unparalleled in terms of relentless reinvention. It's gratifying to find an increasing number of tributes to Davis' post-1968 electric era--ranging from the ambient washes of In a Silent Way and denser Bitches Brew (both from 1969) to the jungle funk of Agharta (1975) and the more accessible 1980s when he released his hit Tutu (1986) and equally funky Amandla (1989) (both on Warner Bros, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

hr Bigband: Once in a Lifetime

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It's not often--perhaps only Once in a Lifetime--that a big band, from Germany no less, has a chance to record with not one but two of the jazz world's acknowledged master craftsmen, organist Joey DeFrancesco and drummer Jeff Hamilton. The hr Bigband from Frankfurt seized that chance in December '03, and the result is this spectacular album on which DeFrancesco and Hamilton affirm beyond any doubt that they are among the very best at what they do.

The nine persuasive charts were written by the conductor, young Jörg Achim Keller, and the groovy opener, Matty Malneck/Robert Maxwell's “Shangri-La, is tailor-made ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

hr-Bigband with Joey DeFrancesco & Jeff Hamilton: Once In A Lifetime

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One doesn't often associate the sounds of the organ with the music of big bands, but that's exactly what you get when Joey DeFrancesco, a virtuoso on the Hammond B-3 organ, joins forces with renowned drummer Jeff Hamilton of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra as special guests of conductor Jorg Achim Keller and the German hr-Bigband (Hessischer Rundfunk).

While there's no question that you're listening to a typical big band album, as evident from the brassy sounds of the opening “Shangri-La, the organist steals the show and the limelight throughout. DeFrancesco enjoys plenty of orchestral space, and the band ...



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