All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

106

Justin Mullens: Justin Mullens & The Delphian Jazz Orchestra

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
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)

Title: Justin Mullens & The Delphian Jazz Orchestra | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent

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 Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Telepathy CD/LP/Track Review
Telepathy
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read The Whole Thing Is Just There CD/LP/Track Review
The Whole Thing Is Just There
by John Bricker
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart – Sinfonia Concertante CD/LP/Track Review
Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Rogue Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rogue Star
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Out in the Open CD/LP/Track Review
Out in the Open
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 16, 2018
Read "YUL" CD/LP/Track Review YUL
by Anya Wassenberg
Published: July 25, 2018
Read "La Fenice" CD/LP/Track Review La Fenice
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 10, 2018
Read "Heaven & Earth" CD/LP/Track Review Heaven & Earth
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 15, 2018
Read "Wishing On The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Wishing On The Moon
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 13, 2018
Read "Playmates" CD/LP/Track Review Playmates
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 14, 2018
Read "Absolutely Live II" CD/LP/Track Review Absolutely Live II
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: January 4, 2018