Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

176

Alex Budman and the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra: Instruments of Mass Pleasure

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Mass Pleasure is the fourth album by the San Francisco-based Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, which is contemporary in the best sense of the word; that is, belonging to this age and time. While the nine charts are as modern as one could envision, they are firmly grounded in time-honored jazz and musical tradition, never forswearing rhythmic or harmonic convention and structure to accomplish some undefined or exotic purpose. The CJO, which was launched more than a decade ago, validates the fruit of that experience, playing together with notable warmth and congeniality.

The program consists entirely of original compositions, two each by current leader Alex Budman, former leader Christopher Pitts, bassist Lorenzo Farrell and pianist Leonard Thompson, and one by the late Oliver Nelson. Nelson's requiem "Ballad for Benny has Budman sitting on clarinet for the song's namesake, Benny Goodman, and dedicating his inspired performance to another outstanding clarinetist and mentor, the late Abe Most. Elsewhere, Budman shows his versatility by soloing nimbly on alto (his own "In Case of Emergency ), tenor (Pitts' "Little Prayer ) and soprano (Farrell's "Samba in 7 ). "Samba (also featuring Mike Olmos on flugel) is an explicit highlight, as is Farrell's other composition, "The Croxmont Jive, written originally for his piano and Budman's tenor and orchestrated by the latter. The spot-on solos are by Thompson, alto Charles McNeal and the CJO's blue-chip drummer, Brian Fishler.

The opener, "Emergency, hustles briskly along behind crisp ensemble work and engaging statements by Budman, trombonist John Grove and Olmos (on trumpet). Budman and Thompson are front and center on "Little Prayer, an homage by Pitts to John Coltrane, inspired by "Dear Lord and nicely arranged by Chuck MacKinnon. Pitts also wrote the Latin-contoured "Girolata, whose fiery stand-in rhythm section includes pianist Marco Diaz, drummer David Flores and percussionist Jesús Diaz. Completing the session are Budman's sensuous "Mood for a Time, written in 1994 for a quartet and featuring Thompson's piano; and Thompson's compositions "Sidewave (solos by Fishler, trumpeter Joel Behrman, tenor Tod Dickow) and "When We Walked in the Sun, a lyrical conduit for Eric Crystal's expressive tenor.

Many would agree that the world needs more Instruments of Mass Pleasure, and the CJO has done its best to help ease the shortage with a large and invariably pleasing stockpile. Those who appreciate a modern big band that places music in the forefront are sure to dig it.


Track Listing: In Case of Emergency; Little Prayer; Samba in 7; Girolata; Mood for a Time; Sidewave; When We Walked in the Sun; The Croxmont Jive; Ballad for Benny. (62:53)

Personnel: Alex Budman: leader, alto, soprano, tenor sax, clarinet; Charles McNeal: alto sax; Tod Dickow, Eric Crystal (2-4,6-9), Alex Murzyn (1,5): tenor sax; Doug Rowan: baritone sax; Dave Scott, Steffen Kuehn, Joel Behrman, Mike Olmos: trumpet, flugelhorn; Derek James: trombone, bass trombone (5); Adam Theis (2,4,6,7,9), John Brummel (1,3,5,8), Mike Rinta: trombone; Chuck Bennett: bass trombone; Leonard Thompson: piano; Lorenzo Farrell: bass; Brian Fishler: drums. Guest artists: John Grove: trombone solo (1), trombone choir (5); Dan Feiszli (1): acoustic bass; Justin Morell: guitar (3); Marco Diaz: piano (4); David Flores: drums (4); Jes

Title: Instruments of Mass Pleasure | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: OA2 Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read World Gardens CD/LP/Track Review
World Gardens
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Henry II CD/LP/Track Review
Henry II
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Conference Of The Mat/ts CD/LP/Track Review
Conference Of The Mat/ts
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Âme Sèche CD/LP/Track Review
Âme Sèche
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read "Changed Beings" CD/LP/Track Review Changed Beings
by Chris May
Published: November 16, 2018
Read "Arise!" CD/LP/Track Review Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read "Earthshine" CD/LP/Track Review Earthshine
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: January 31, 2018
Read "Like Driving" CD/LP/Track Review Like Driving
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 25, 2018
Read "Plays Dutch Originals" CD/LP/Track Review Plays Dutch Originals
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 14, 2018
Read "After the Fall" CD/LP/Track Review After the Fall
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 3, 2018