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...

128

Big Band Liechtenstein: LMS Big Band Does It All / Alive

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The good news is that tiny Liechtenstein (area about 160 square miles, population less than 40,000) has a big band to call its own. The even better news is that Big Band Liechtenstein is a fairly respectable ensemble, equal in its debut recording (Does It All) to some of our best high school or even mid–level college groups and on its second to many of our more talented undergraduate ensembles. I don’t know if any or all of its members are professional musicians, but my guess would be no; more likely talented part–timers who share a love for big–band Jazz. These two discs were recorded five years apart (1993, ’98) and one can easily hear the over–all improvement on the more recent session, Alive, at which time the BBL was in its 15th year. Alive adds a vocalist, Sabine Fiegl, who is heard on six of its fourteen tracks, and is a touch more adventurous in terms of repertoire than Does It All, which cleaves mainly to the basics — four original compositions by Sammy Nestico, two by Les Hooper, another by John Fedchock, Miles Davis’ “All Blues” and the Billie Holiday favorite, “God Bless the Child.” Another notable difference between the two albums lies in their playing times, 73:50 for Alive, only 49:24 for Does It All, leading one to surmise that the earlier date may have been a “getting one’s feet wet in the recording studio” endeavor. The second album indicates that a substantial amount of woodshedding must have taken place before BBL dived headlong into choppier waters. Section work is much tighter, soloists more assured even though wholly predictable. The main drawback on Alive is Fiegl who, quite frankly, is a mediocre songstress whose drab personality is accompanied by an inability to stay precisely on key. (I hope I’m not being too hard on her.) Too bad, because the band, playing more complex (and often funkier) charts by Jeff Jarvis, Matt Harris, Peter Herbolzheimer and others, sounds notably more impressive, and the instrumental tracks are for the most part rewarding. Again, soloists aren’t out of the ordinary, but saxophonist R. Suhner (no first names are given) has some interesting things to say on soprano (“Emily,” “Mambo de Memo”) and alto (“The Healer,” Fedchock’s “On the Edge”). Even though neither of these discs is destined for inclusion in any big–band Hall of Fame, it’s comforting to know that even in a country as small as Liechtenstein (Rhode Island is almost 20 times larger) the irrepressible big–band legacy is alive and flourishing.

Track listing: Does It All — Freckle Face; Marguarite; Nightshades; Raisin’ the Roof; Switch in Time; A Warm Breeze; Cockatoo; God Bless the Child; All Blues (49:24). Alive — Polar Ice; I Wish You Love; Poultry Guest; Emily; What’s Going On; Chicken Polo; The End of a Love Affair; Escape Velocity; Angel Eyes; Mambo de Memo; The Healer; Birdland; On the Edge; Fever (73:50).


Personnel:

Does It All

Title: LMS Big Band Does It All / Alive | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Tyrolis Musik

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 Drum Solos For Dancers Only CD/LP/Track Review
Drum Solos For Dancers Only
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura CD/LP/Track Review
Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 18, 2018
Read His Flight's At Ten CD/LP/Track Review
His Flight's At Ten
by John Sharpe
Published: December 18, 2018
Read First Lines CD/LP/Track Review
First Lines
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 18, 2018
Read Live At Cafe Amores CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Cafe Amores
by John Sharpe
Published: December 18, 2018
Read The Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Tale
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 17, 2018
Read "Dust Shines" CD/LP/Track Review Dust Shines
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 13, 2018
Read "The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2018
Read "Walking Contradiction" CD/LP/Track Review Walking Contradiction
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 31, 2018
Read "Liver" CD/LP/Track Review Liver
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 15, 2018
Read "Kiss Your Darlings" CD/LP/Track Review Kiss Your Darlings
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 27, 2018
Read "Is That So?" CD/LP/Track Review Is That So?
by Jerry D'Souza
Published: April 9, 2018