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Jazz Articles | Blog

LIVE REVIEWS

Jazz Found Alive! Man In Blue Suede Shoes Wanted For Questioning.

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Colin Towns' Mask Orchestra LSO St. Lukes London October 17, 2015 The gap between the music that Colin Towns makes and much that currently passes for jazz grew even wider last weekend. Performing compositions from his new double CD Drama with his stellar Mask Orchestra, the composer-bandleader revealed the music's potential in ways that few others could even imagine. Drama features music that draws on Towns' twenty year history of composition for film ...

INTERVIEWS

Colin Towns: Rule Book? What Rule Book?

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Since the 1970s, internationally renowned English composer/arranger/pianist/keyboard player Colin Towns has enjoyed an extremely varied musical existence. In that time, he has composed and arranged music in just about every setting imaginable, from heavy rock groups to jazz ensembles both small and large, and from theater to film and ballet. Little wonder, then, that his first small-ensemble outing in years, Stand Well Back (Provocateur Records, 2011), from his latest group, Blue Touch Paper, shows such breadth of musical influences. Starting ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bohuslan Big Band: Don't Fence Me In

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Some of the finest compositions in The Great American Songbook, one of Europe's most talented big bands and one of the best arrangers Britain has produced. Put them all together on one CD, and it doesn't disappoint. The Cole Porter songs on Don't Fence Me In are among the most familiar in popular music, but while the Bohuslän Big Band's versions, arranged by Colin Towns, are instantly recognizable they are also innovative and exciting. Nils Landgren, the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Colin Towns & The NDR Big Band: John Lennon - In My Own Write

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Since 2005, British arranger/conductor Colin Towns has trawled the discographies of Frank Zappa, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Miles Davis for collaborative potential with Germany's NBR Big Band. In every case--most recently, on Visions of Miles (In + Out, 2009)--the focus was on source material in and around the jazz sphere, with plenty of built-in grist for Towns' soaring imagination to run rampant, blending vibrant and oftentimes complex charts with soloists capable of marrying form, freedom, and the fuzzy space in between. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Colin Towns / HR-BigBand: Visions of Miles: The Electric Period of Miles Davis

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With the 2009 release of the 70-CD The Complete Columbia Album Collection, attention continues to focus on the late Miles Davis, a trumpeter who may have had equals or betters in the technical department, but was unparalleled in terms of relentless reinvention. It's gratifying to find an increasing number of tributes to Davis' post-1968 electric era--ranging from the ambient washes of In a Silent Way and denser Bitches Brew (both from 1969) to the jungle funk of Agharta (1975) and ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Billy Cobham/Colin Towns/hr-Bigband: Meeting Of The Spirits: A Celebration Of The Mahavishnu Orchestra

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Billy Cobham/Colin Towns/hr-Bigband Meeting Of The Spirits: A Celebration Of The Mahavishnu Orchestra In + Out Records 2006

There's been a rush of Mahavishnu Orchestra related projects during the last two years. First there was Mahavishnu keyboardist Jan Hammer playing Mahavishnu music with guitarist Jeff Beck in Europe. Then there was the Jeff Richman-produced tribute album, Visions Of An Inner Mounting Apocalypse. There is the ongoing success of the Mahavishnu Project band ...


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