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by Jack Bowers
This impressive anthology by the superb Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra is not so much Bernstein Reimagined as Bernstein Unleashed. The jazz component in Leonard Bernstein's memorable compositions for symphony orchestra, Broadway shows, films and even liturgical works always lay simmering just below the surface. As Bernstein is said to have confided to Duke Ellington: Maybe that's really the difference between us. You write symphonic jazz, and I write jazz symphonies." However credible the remark, there is no doubt that the ...read more
The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra: Tribute to a Generation: A Salute to the Big Bands of the WWII Era
by Bob Jacobson
Read the subtitle of this album and you probably won't be disappointed. Look over the song list. Understand that these tunes do not include vocals. Issued to coincide with the recent unveiling of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., Tribute to a Generation features tunes made famous by Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Benny Carter and Glenn Miller.This album bears the hallmarks of the best Swing Era bands: tight ensemble playing, ...read more