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One thing we don’t know about Ron Kurz’s orchestra is who its members are (personnel are unnamed). One thing we do know is that this is “light Jazz” or “new age” music, directed toward those who might conceivably identify Count Basie or Duke Ellington as members of Britain’s House of Lords. All of the compositions and arrangements are by Kurz, and while he’s capable enough at what he does, a little of this kind of music goes a long way. I hesitate to use the word “boring” when writing about any kind of music, as one person’s appetizer is another’s banquet, but to these ears, at least, Kurz’s music is largely redundant and ultimately wearisome. It could be tolerable if played softly in the background in some waiting room or other, but much less so on one’s home stereo system except perhaps as a possible cure for insomnia. On the other hand, there are undoubtedly those to whom this would sound terrific, so who are we to pass judgment. What we can reasonably state is that Dancing in the Light has almost nothing to do with mainstream Jazz; there are no improvised passages, and the rhythmic pulse is in many cases one step removed from lifeless. Still, it is music, and we presume there’s an audience for it, otherwise Kurz wouldn’t go to the trouble and expense of recording. But the guess here is that few in his audience would be drawn to our big–band reviews.
Track listing: Silent Passage; Dancing in the Light; The Beauty Lies Within; The Traveler; Dreamweaver; Gentle Reflections; Land of Darji; Restless Wind; Oh, How I Love Thee; Love; A Walk on the Other Side; A Golden Mist; Awake in a Dream; I Am Free; A Warrior’s Symphony; Celebration (66:00).
Contact: Be Good To Your Self Music, P. O. Box 95551, Las Vegas, NV 89193
| Record Label: Be Good To Your Self Music
| Style: Big Band
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.