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 for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Our Story Album Reviews
Our Story
By Troy Dostert
March 25, 2019
Read Influences Album Reviews
Influences
By Don Phipps
March 25, 2019
Read The Transitory Poems Album Reviews
The Transitory Poems
By Mark Corroto
March 25, 2019
Read Birckhead Album Reviews
Birckhead
By Mike Jurkovic
March 25, 2019
Read Live At Moods Album Reviews
Live At Moods
By Chris M. Slawecki
March 25, 2019
Read Live at Frankie's Jazz Club Album Reviews
Live at Frankie's Jazz Club
By Jack Bowers
March 24, 2019
Read Asperger Album Reviews
Asperger
By Don Phipps
March 24, 2019