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Jazz Articles about Jim McNeely

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Album Review

Jim McNeely/Frankfurt Radio Big Band: Rituals

Read "Rituals" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The first thirty-three minutes or so of Rituals, the latest album by the excellent Frankfurt Radio (hr) Big Band, is an homage to Igor Stravinsky's symphonic suite The Rite of Spring, which premiered in Paris in 1913, reimagined “in the Stravinsky spirit" by the group's director, Jim McNeely, in a big-band framework and featuring the acclaimed American tenor saxophonist Chris Potter. The first three movements are designated “Adoration," the next two “Sacrifice," and McNeely has added a sixth, “Rituals Rebirth," ...

Album Review

Jim McNeely Frankfurt Radio Big Band feat. Chris Potter: Rituals

Read "Rituals" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Commissionata dall'Alte Oper Frankfurt a Jim McNeely nell'ambito del festival dedicato a Stravinsky del 2013, quest'originale esecuzione de “Le Sacre du Printemps" è stata registrata due anni dopo in studio e viene pubblicata solo ora. Assieme all'arrangiatore di Chicago, i protagonisti sono Chris Potter al sax tenore e soprano, e la Frankfurt Radio Big Band. La presenza di una figura solista chiarisce da subito che non si tratta di una rivisitazione de “La sagra della primavera" ma ...

2
Album Review

Jim McNeely: Barefoot Dances and Other Visions

Read "Barefoot Dances and Other Visions" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


When today's top composer-arrangers of large ensemble jazz are discussed, Jim McNeely's name sometimes gets overlooked. He deserves the recognition. He's been a long- time associate of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra and its descendant, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and he's also done a lot of work with several European big bands. It could be that simply his large ensemble writing seldom gets recorded. That makes Barefoot Dances special. It's a powerful suite McNeely wrote for the Frankfurt Radio ...

5
Album Review

Jim McNeely / Frankfurt Radio Big Band: Barefoot Dances and Other Visions

Read "Barefoot Dances and Other Visions" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Barefoot Dances and Other Visions is a contemporary seven-part suite written by composer/arranger Jim McNeely in 2014 for the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, with whom he has worked since 2008. “I tailored my musical visions," he writes, “to fit each player in the ensemble, and placed each soloist in a framework both familiar and challenging." Challenging it is, starting with “Bob's Here," a well-drawn homage to one of McNeely's mentors, the late composer / valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, written in ...

2
New York Beat

Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

Read "Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola" reviewed by Nick Catalano


For the better part of a decade I've escorted my jazz class at Pace University on trips to Dizzy's to see the Manhattan School of Music Concert Jazz Band perform. The series was forged by veteran jazz academic Justin DiCioccio whose leadership and programming has prompted a rarely noticed success of Collegiate jazz bands across the country. Since DiCioccio's pioneering efforts schools such as Juilliard, Purchase, and Temple have organized similar groups and also appeared at Dizzy's. ...

Album Review

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra: OverTime: Music of Bob Brookmeyer

Read "OverTime: Music of Bob Brookmeyer" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Questo disco ci è giunto con un po' di ritardo ma va assolutamente segnalato. È infatti uno dei migliori dischi dell'anno nonchè un omaggio al genio orchestrale di Bob Brookmeyer. Forse non tutti sanno che lo storico trombonista, partner negli anni cinquanta di Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan e Jimmy Giuffre, è stato uno di massimi orchestratori moderni: nel 1966 partecipò alla fondazione della Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, scrivendo decine di partiture, e nel 1990 ne divenne il direttore, quando la ...

8
Album Review

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra: OverTime: Music of Bob Brookmeyer

Read "OverTime: Music of Bob Brookmeyer" reviewed by John Ephland


There's a richness, a depth, a density to his varied charts. And the soloists and ensemble passages inside those charts! Such has always been the case with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, then, and now. For real, gliding from the spirit of Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, this edition of the VJO now embraces another one of its own: trombonist/composer/arranger/pianist Bob Brookmeyer, with Over Time: Music Of Bob Brookmeyer. And what different sound comes from this grand aggregate of ...


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