Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
156

Chris Walden Big Band: No Bounds

Victor L. Schermer By

Sign in to view read count Views
Chris Walden Big Band: No Bounds No Bounds is as tasteful a big band album as you're likely to hear today, at a time when large jazz ensembles compete in virtuousity, intensity, range and—unfortunately—volume. Every note on the disc is well-placed, in tune and, even when dissonant, pleasing to the ears. That's because Walden knows music from top to bottom, having been a trumpeter himself, and composed, arranged and conducted for big bands, the cinema, television and star vocalists.

Growing up in Hamburg, Germany, Walden acquired a European sensibility but, unlike some European musicians, he also assimilated the American jazz idiom. The result is an album with universal appeal. Take, for example, "Clay's Theme, by Till Bronner, who also plays the marvellous trumpet solo on this track. Walden—as arranger and conductor—combines a cinematic use of strings and harp, with a laid back rhythm section, flugelhorn, and baritone saxophone, to create a unified backdrop for the haunting melody. On "In The Doghouse, he combines a film noir atmosphere with some swinging big band effects and a plunger mute trombone solo, in a lively series of changes that are simultaneously diverse and unified.

Tierney Sutton does a fine job as vocalist on two standards: "People Will Say We're In Love and "Smile. Her precision and subtle inflections blend beautifully with the band. "Someday My Prince Will Come comes on lively and alternately lightly and jumping, with a bow to the Miles Davis version (Wynton Kelly's original piano playing is echoed by Alan Steinberger's fine keyboard work). "Otterkamp is a Walden original realized by Martin Tillman on electric cello. The soft brass and woodwind intro has echoes of Gil Evans, and Tillman peforms a virtuosic solo that would have charmed romantics like Dvorak. Then, a (surprising) Latin beat takes the piece dancing late into the night.

In an era when tabloid-type sensationalism haunts music and the arts, this straightforward, articulate and soft-spoken album reminds us of how great jazz music can be—when genuine sensibility and inventiveness combine with consummate musicianship to produce something memorable.

Visit Chris Walden on the web.


Track Listing: Winter Games; When You Wish Upon A Star; No Bounds; People Will Say Weíre In Love; Clayís Theme; In The Doghouse; Try Harder; Smile; Someday My Prince Will Come; Otterkamp; Itís A Small World After All.

Personnel: Tierney Sutton: vocals; Jeff Driskill, Kim Richmond, Rob Lockart, Brandon Fields, Tom Peterson: saxophones; Wayne Bergeron, Kye Palmer, Ron King, Carl Saunders, Kevin Richardson, Till Bronner: trumpets; Bob McChesney, Andy Martin, Alex Iles, Arturo Velasco, Rich Bullock: trombones; Brian Monroney: guitar; Alan Steinberger, Frank Chastenier: piano; Ken Wild: bass; Ray Brinker, Gregg Field: drums; M.B. Gordy: vibraphone, percussion; Chris Walden: additional drum and synth programming; Martin Tillman: electric cello; Gayle Levant: harp; Steve Becknell, Dan Kelley, Brian OíConnor, Phillip Yao: French horns; Bruce Dukow (concertmaster), Jackie Brand, Roberto Cani, Tammy Hatwan, Pat Johnson, Jennifer Levin, Josefina Vergara, Marina Manukian, Sid Page, Katia Popov, Marc Sazer, Kevin Connolly, Alan Grunfeld, Roger Wilkie, Tereza Stanislav, Helen Nightengale: violins; Brian Dembow, Matt Funes, Keith Greene, Darrin McCann, Tomas Diener, Roland Kato: violas; Steve Erdody, Trevor Handy, Andrew Shulman, Dane Little, Larry Corbett, Kim Scholes: cellos; Ken Wild, Mike Valerio, Ian Walker: contrabasses.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Big Band


Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Chris Walden Big Band: Full-On!
Chris Walden Big...
Origin Records
2014
buy
Full-On!
Full-On!
Origin Records
2014
buy
Chris Walden: Symphony No. 1 - The Four Elements
Chris Walden:...
Origin Records
2008
buy
Kurt Marti Suite
Kurt Marti Suite
Origin Records
2007
buy
Winter Games
Winter Games
Origin Records
2006
buy
No Bounds
No Bounds
Origin Records
2006
buy

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.