Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

The Toronto Jazz Orchestra: 20

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
The Toronto Jazz Orchestra, aka TJO, was created to perform music by the major jazz composers, like Miles Davis and his Miles Ahead (Columbia Records, 1958), the trumpeter's collaboration with Gil Evans, for one. With 20, the group celebrates the composition and arranging skills of its artistic director, Josh Grossman.

With a twenty year history—hence the disc's title—TJO proves itself a top notch big band here, beginning with the Aaron Copland-esque "Georgie and Rose," with its sweeping backdrop and rich harmonies driven with a propulsive Latin flavor. Solos—one after another, all highly inspired—slip in and out of the big, bold arrangement. Everybody shines brightly.

"Brad's Prudence," from "Dear Prudence," of the Beatles songbook, stands out as the set's only non-Grossman original. A nod to pianist Brad Mehldau's rendition of the tune from the album Largo (Warner Brothers, 2002), showcases the band's bright sounds soaring over a sludgy, ground-bound rhythm. Trombonist Christian Overton solos with muscularity that slips into suppleness, then back to brassy power again.

The set's centerpiece, the four movement "4N," celebrates Canadian clarinetist/educator, and one of Josh Grossman's personal inspirations, Phil Nimmons. The twenty minute suite serves as an extended highlight, with its expansive Maria Schneider-like ensemble sound, punctuated by terrific soling, most notably from clarinetist Paul Metcalfe on ""4PN, Mvt. 2: Under a Treeful."

Grossman closes the show, as he opened it ("Georgie and Rose" is about his children), in a family way. "The Blob" explores, in part, the downside of parenting—the fear and feelings of inadequacy concerning the taking on of the task, but also the "plunge ahead hard, like you know what you're doing" momentum needed to do it right, in spite of inevitable doubts. A hard-driving, uplifting wrap-up to a fine big band set.

Track Listing: Georgie and Rose; Brad's Prudence; 4 PN Mvt. I: The Land of 2 and 4;; 4 PN Mvt. II: Under a Treeful; 4 PN Mvt. III: Birdsong; 4 PN Mvt. IV: Flat 10 Strikes Again; Reflection; The Blob.

Personnel: Josh Grossman: artistic director, conductor; Chris Roberts: soprano sax, alto sax, flute; Jake Koffman: alto sax, flute; Paul Metcalfe: tenor sax, clarinet; Chris Hunsburger: tenor sax, clarinet; Shirantha Beddage: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Steve Dyte: lead trumpet; James Rhodes: trumpet; Alexander Brown: trumpet; John Pittman trumpet; Christian Overton: lead trombone; Pat Blanchard: trombone; Mark Grieve: trombone; Sylvain Bédard: bass trombone; Todd Elsliger: guitar; Carissa Neufeld: piano, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer; Mark Godfrey: acoustic bass, electric bass; Ben Ball: drums; Luis Orbegoso: percussion.

Title: 20 | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: TJO

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Bulería Brooklyniana Album Reviews
Bulería Brooklyniana
By Dan Bilawsky
January 23, 2019
Read At The Hill Of James Magee Album Reviews
At The Hill Of James Magee
By Mark Corroto
January 23, 2019
Read Stomping Off From Greenwood Album Reviews
Stomping Off From Greenwood
By Mike Jurkovic
January 23, 2019
Read Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018 Album Reviews
Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018
By Roger Weisman
January 23, 2019
Read Runner in the Rain Album Reviews
Runner in the Rain
By Jack Bowers
January 22, 2019
Read Driftglass Album Reviews
Driftglass
By Chris May
January 22, 2019
Read Pure Magic Album Reviews
Pure Magic
By Mark Sullivan
January 22, 2019