All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
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 slotsthose punctuating flights of improvisationhave 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 registerbass trombone and baritone saxophonethat adds a very satisfying "beef" to the musical stew he's concocted.
The soloiststoo many to mentioncook 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.
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
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com