106

Justin Mullens: Justin Mullens & The Delphian Jazz Orchestra

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Justin Mullens: Justin Mullens & The Delphian Jazz Orchestra When most people think of jazz big bands, the swinging sounds of large ensembles may come to mind, but of late there has been an emergence of jazz orchestras that perform a broader scope of different jazz styles with an emphasis on complex composition as well has larger than life music. New York composer/trumpeter Justin Mullens brings his own ideas to the field with his Delphian Jazz Orchestra, featuring a sixteen piece ensemble and resulting in some challenging and edgy pieces that are clearly geared for attentive and discriminating listeners.

Notwithstanding the elements of a large jazz ensemble, this is not your typical recording as each of the ten compositions are layered with highly composed horn arrangements, varying tempo changes, and music influences ranging from Ellington, Stravinsky, to Frank Zappa. The complexity of the music easily competes with commissioned works of chamber orchestras, with detailed instrumental sections and heady musicianship.

The musicians in the DJO perform with abundant skill as each instrument gives birth to the written material. This is fully realized on the three part opus "Beowulf" with a cinematic-like theme filled with rich instrument sections, changing moods, and deep solo spots from Mullens and various musicians. Other branches of the music include the addition of operatic vocals on the "Trifler," which oddly works within the context of the music.

The quick changing patterns within each selection keeps things interesting but is also one of the challenges as various themes quickly appear then suddenly vanish. Just when a groove gets good, it changes; yet clearly the music is not geared towards melody alone but also highlighting the deep writing skills of Justin Mullens and the performance of his unique orchestra.


Track Listing: 1. Pietro the Gouty 2. Daphne Laureola 3. The Viking 4. Beowulf Part 1: "Grendel" 5. Beowulf Part 2: "The End for Hrunting" 6. Beowulf Part 3: "Wiglaf and the Dragon" 7. The Trifler 8. The Icecream Man 9. The Apple and the Box 10. A Set of Triggers

Personnel: Chris Cheek (alto sax); Ryan Shore (alto sax, clarinet, flute); Dave Barraza (tenor sax); Matt Glassmeyer (tenor sax, soprano sax); Matt Cowan (baritone sax); Larry Gillespie(trumpet, flugelhorn); Dave Smith (trumpet, flugelhorn); Erik Jekabson (trumpet, flugelhorn); Justin Mullens (trumpet, flugelhorn); Paul Olenick (trombone); Jacob Garchik (trombone); Max Seigel (bass trombone); Danny Weiss (drums); Masa Kamaguchi (bass); Peter Thompson (guitar); Judith Berkson (vocals)

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Once Upon a Time Right Now" CD/LP/Track Review Once Upon a Time Right Now
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Collage of Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Collage of Moments
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey" CD/LP/Track Review Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works" CD/LP/Track Review Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Written in the Rocks" CD/LP/Track Review Written in the Rocks
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: March 8, 2016
Read "Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!