All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

102

New World Jazz Composers Octet: Breaking News

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Eight players does not a big band make, but The New World Jazz Composers Octet is a light ensemble offering an assertive sound reminiscent of a big band production. Boasting a cadre of educators and first-rate musicians, the group manages powerful orchestrations employing an exciting horn section, lively percussion and blistering piano work from Tim Ray in its aggressive approach to the music. Breaking News is the Octet's third album, revealing a program of charging hard bop featuring nine compositions from members of Boston's Berklee College of Music such as Ted Pease, Matthew Nicholl and Richard Lowell. Trumpeter Walter Platt and saxophonist Felipe Salles, both members of the Octet, also contribute one new composition each to the selection.

Saxophonist and Berklee College professor Daniel Ian Smith founded the group in 2000 "in the spirit of the Mingus Jazz Workshop," specifically as a musical forum in which to feature works by Berklee jazz composers and other writers in the Boston area. The group opens up with two Nicholl compositions, the up-tempo sizzler "Poco Picasso" and the gorgeous ballad of "Wishful Thinking," featuring Salles on tenor, Platt's tasteful trumpet, pristine work from Ray, and a drum solo from Mark Walker.

Platt's title piece, a minor blues similar in texture to the hard bop styles of the past, includes more of the trumpeter's phrasings, as well as a hot Smith solo on baritone saxophone. Strong solo work from trumpeter Ken Cervenka and a lively tenor sax chase between Smith and Salles highlight Lowell's "Warp 7, Now!" as the group engages warp drive. The centerpiece of the album is Pease's "Trilogy" suite, dedicated to three of his favorite composers: the swinging "Thad's Pad," a tribute to Thad Jones; the melancholy "Strays," dedicated to Billy Strayhorn; and, ending with a bang and not a whimper, the burning tribute to Bill Holman, "Willis," complete with an array of solos from various members of the band.

With all the political, economic and social news making the front pages of the media each day, it's refreshing to hear some Breaking News that's truly pleasant for a change. Daniel Ian Smith's New World Jazz Composers Octet is a critically acclaimed, world-class ensemble, lending a bit of swing and swagger to new and innovative charts that, if not for this group, would never be heard.

Track Listing: Poco Picasso; Wishful Thinking; Breaking News; Children's Waltz; Warp 7, Now!; Song Sung Long; Trilogy: Thad's Pad, Strays, Willis.

Personnel: Daniel Ian Smith: saxophones, flute; Ken Cervenka: trumpet, flugelhorn; Walter Platt: trumpet, flugelhorn; Tim Ray: piano; Keala Kaumeheiwa: acoustic bass; Ernesto Diaz: percussion; Felipe Salles: saxophones, flute; Mark Walker: drums; Catherine Hazel Smith: spoken word.

Title: Breaking News | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Big and Phat Jazz Productions

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

And Now for Something Completely Different

And Now for Something Completely Different

New World Jazz Composers Octet
Transitions

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Breaking News

Breaking News

Big and Phat Jazz Productions
2011

buy
Transitions

Transitions

Big and Phat Jazz Productions
0

buy

Related Articles

Read Half Light CD/LP/Track Review
Half Light
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2018
Read The Groove Hunter CD/LP/Track Review
The Groove Hunter
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Powered by Life CD/LP/Track Review
Powered by Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Mephiti CD/LP/Track Review
Mephiti
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018
Read "Thick As Thieves" CD/LP/Track Review Thick As Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Not Bound" CD/LP/Track Review Not Bound
by Don Phipps
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Feefifofum Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Feefifofum Quartet
by James Nadal
Published: July 9, 2017
Read "Man No Longer Me" CD/LP/Track Review Man No Longer Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 2, 2017
Read "Najwa" CD/LP/Track Review Najwa
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "Serenade for Horace" CD/LP/Track Review Serenade for Horace
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 11, 2017