96

Gordon Lee and the Gleeful Big Band: Flying Dream

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Gordon Lee and the Gleeful Big Band: Flying Dream With big bands, it's all about the arrangements. Those charts have to have that spark, as well as a depth and complexity. Then the solo slots—those punctuating flights of improvisation—have to soar, of course. They do here; they almost always do at this top level of musicianship; but it's the textures, the layerings, the eyebrow-raising counterpoints that make the set.

Gordon Lee and the Gleeful Big Band's Flying Dream bubbles over the top of the pot with superb arrangements.

It's all built on what came before. This set sounds like the child of a mating of a large ensemble Mingus effort, a la Mingus Mingus Mingus (Impulse!, 1963) and a Maria Schneider Orchestra sound, with the late great tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson Big Band CD (Verve, 1996) serving as a first cousin.

Especially noteworthy is pianist Lee's writing for the lower register—bass trombone and baritone saxophone—that adds a very satisfying "beef" to the musical stew he's concocted.

The soloists—too many to mention—cook throughout, but Gordon Lee (on piano) doesn't step out in front often enough; he is a succinct and authoritative instrumentalist, and a fine songwriter as well. Nine of the tunes are originals, from the bossa nova-ish "Wait for Her" and the soaring Maria Schneider-esque "Flying Dream," to the dark, churning, classical-sounding (Mahler?) "Bitter Wind," and into the Ellingtonian reed section sound on the one non-original, "Where or When."

Flying Dream is an engrossing listen, each spin revealing new layers of big band writing.

Visit OA2 Records on the web at www.origin-records.com .


Track Listing: Vicious Cycle, Flying Dream, Sentimental Fool, Now What?, Tobacco Monkey, Winter Comes, Bitter Wind, Wait for Her, Where or When, Alternative Blues

Personnel: Gordon Lee--composer, conductor, piano; Carlton jackson--drums; Andre St. James--contrabass; Charley Gray--electric bass; Rich Cooper, Randy Mueller Dave Mills, Farnell Newton--trumpets; Stan Bock, Keller Coker, Lars Campbell--trombones; Michael Powers--bass trombone; Gary Harris, Tom Bergeron--alto sax and flute; Renato Caranto--tenor and soprano saxes; Tim Jensen--tenor sax, clarinet, flute; Robert Crowell--baritone sax

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: OA2 Records | Style: Big Band


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read A Dark and Stormy Day CD/LP/Track Review A Dark and Stormy Day
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Pocono Git-Down CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Rímur CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Schönbrunn CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Live In Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Crystal Moth" CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Moth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 31, 2016
Read "Live At Edgefest" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Edgefest
by John Sharpe
Published: April 28, 2016
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute To Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute To Jimmy Van Heusen
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 3, 2016
Read "Live in Sant’Anna Arresi, 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Sant’Anna Arresi, 2004
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!