Home » Jazz Articles » Chris Walden Big Band & St. John's Choir: Kurt Marti Suite

246

Album Review

Chris Walden Big Band & St. John's Choir: Kurt Marti Suite

By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Walden Big Band & St. John's Choir: Kurt Marti Suite
The German-born composer/band leader Chris Walden pays the rent with his television and movie work, scoring over thirty feature and television films, in addition to his writing for a variety of musical artists, including—Christopher Cross, Michael Bolton, Sheryl Crow, Paul Anka and Olivia Newton-John. The art of his heart, though, must certainly be his big band recordings, including No Bounds (Origin Records, 2006) and the Grammy nominated (Best Large Jazz Ensemble and Best Instrumental Arrangement) Home of My Heart (Origin Records, 2005).

With Kurt Marti Suite Walden goes home again, in a manner of speaking, in an exploration of his German language and culture with music based on the sacred poems of Swiss priest/poet Kurt Marti (b. 1921).

Walden fleshes out the sonic palette considerably here with the inclusion of a hundred-voice St. John's Choir, of the Lutheran parish of St. John in Hamburg Germany. The combination of Walden's Big Band and the big wash of voices create a sound that is lush, richly reverential, and often quite jazzy, as on "Hotel Jesus," that features a searing sax solo by Brandon Fields, and "Bitte" with Ron King's flugelhorn making a brief, anguished plea as a prelude to the choir's glowing harmony.

The Suite consists of twelve tunes, all of them lovely, concise statements each clocking in under four minutes, followed by "Slings and Arrows," a tune written by the late saxophonist Michael Brecker, given to Walden for a big band arrangement. It closes the disc, in a fitting bonus track tradition—a wonderful up-tempo romp that features a burning, Brecker-esque sax solo by Mitch Holder.

Another superb big band outing by Chris Walden.

Track Listing

Katechismusfragen; Hotel Jesus; Die Salbung; Ostermorgen; Bitte; Lobpreis; Anrufungen; Ganz Werden; Lichstrahl; Protestantische Kirchenmusik; Predigtnot; Dahingehen; Slings and Arrows.

Personnel

Chris Walden: composer, arranger, conductor, producer; Wayne Bergeron: trumpet; Kye Palmer: trumpet; Ron King: trumpet; Sal Cracchiolo: trumpet; Jeff Driskill: reeds; Kim Richmond: reeds; Rob Lockart: reeds; Brandon Fields: reeds; Tom Peterson: reeds; Bob McChesney: trombone; Alex Iles: trombone; Arturo Velasco: trombone; Rich Bullock: trombone; Mitch Holder: guitar; Alan Steinberger: piano; Ken Wild: bass; Dick Weller: drums; M.B. Gordy: vibes, percussion. With the St. John

Album information

Title: Kurt Marti Suite | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Origin Records

Post a comment about this album


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

Voices: A Musical Heritage
Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra
Calasanitus
Leon Foster Thomas
Playing With Standards
Seppe Gebruers

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.