The Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra, a hard-driving local house band from Seattle, debuts with this album sculpted in the finest big band tradition. Led by saxophonist and composer Jim Cutler, the sixteen-piece big band features the best talented musicians from the Puget Sound area. The thirteen lively big band arrangements here are entirely comprised of new original compositions from Cutler and trumpeter Daniel Barry, except for John Coltrane's "Dear Love.
The repertoire conveys a modern swing rhythm, drawing upon stylish and sophisticated arrangements and developing a unique big band sound for this orchestra. There's plenty of exciting material to choose from, beginning with the opening "Mack's Place, a piece that, as Cutler writes, encapsulates in one chart everything the band can do: "this tune has it all. The music turns south with the Latin-shaded "Milk Way Mambo and then opens up with two of the best hard-swinging numbers in "Alan Weight Speaking and "Get In The Game, the former featuring some flugelhorn magic by Mike Hines and the latter another solid tenor solo by the leader.
Shifting direction a bit, Cutler's band provides a rather sultry encounter with the Brazilian-flavored "Encontro das Agua. For a taste of a little passion play, you need to check out "Checkered Demon, featuring a dynamite tenor passage by Richard Cole (not to be confused with altoist Richie Cole). Finally in closing out this recording, you have the hot, spicy and partly jungle jingle sound of "View from The Top, and the brief but beautiful light finale, "Twilight Dawned.
Jim Cutler fashions a terrific, rhythmically rich big band effort that's far more accomplished than its title might imply. This impressive and engaging set of sensational charts makes for one excellent musical experience and an outstanding debut.
Track Listing: Mack's Place; Milky Way Mambo; Alan Weight Speaking; Get In The Game; Encontro Das Aguas; Dreamcatcher; Dear Lord; In Progress; Autumn Mist; The Checkered Demon; May Day; View From The Top; Twilight Dawned.
Personnel: Jim Cutler: leader,tenor, flute and clarinet; Steve Treseler, Vanessa Sielert, Richard Cole,
James DeJoie, Lisa Gordanier, Chris Fagan, Paul Gillespie: reeds; Chris Amemiya, Steve Kirk,
Chuck Wiese, Nelson Bell, Emily Asher: trombones; Dennise Haldane, Mike Mines, Al Kieth,
Daniel Barry, Peter Greene: trumpets; Steve Rice: piano; Philip Demaree: bass; Greg
Williamson (4,7,10,12), Chris Monroe (1,3,8,9), Scott Ketron (2,5,6,11): drums; Brian Kinsela;
piano (4,7,10,12); Susan Pascal: vibraphone, marimba.
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz.
Being a Musician myself, (Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar), I studied at the Dick Grove School of Music with Dick Grove, Jeff Richman and Lee Ritenour. This was around '84-'85. I started playing the Guitar in November 1967. Playing Guitar came quite naturally to me thank goodness. Though I spent hours upon hours practicing while my school buddies were doing Sports.
It was in the early '70s that I really got into Jazz, Jazz Rock, Jazz Fusion and World Music. Seeing Weather Report, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Larry Carlton, Steely Dan, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, RTF, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, VSOP, Freddie Hubbard and so many, many more amazing artists opened my eyes to the beauty and eloquent nature of Jazz. I really love the brilliant ensemble playing that is in Jazz!!
When I play and write music, it blends so many style together. Many fans ask me why my playing sounds so jazzy. It's because I understand Blue Notes, the phrasing, the tonality, time signatures and more. I can also play Rock, Folk, Soul, R n' B and other styles too. I seem to gravitate more and more as I get older to a jazzier style. Currently I'm 62 years old. I have released 2 CDs world-wide. Working on my 3rd.
I also teach Guitar/Bass/Music Theory to my students. They range from 6 years old to much, much older. (I was hired by the City of Aurora, CO to teach ages 6-13 specifically). Currently I teach 41 children in 5 classes. Additionally another 7 private students.
My wife, Meesh, and I love Jazz dearly. It was one of the things that we share together!
Most of the people that I know today do not get jazz. I try to explain what to listen for, but many times the music of Jazz is a bit much for them. So be it.
In a nutshell, I live, breath and listen to Music 24/7. No TV except the Food Channel and Weather.
I love John Kelman's articles. They are so insightful and well-constructed!
Thank you all for doing what you do.