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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jim Cutler: Gimme Some Sugar. Baby!

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The music on Seattle-based saxophonist Jim Cutler's second big-band album is thematic; that is to say, it was written with people, places or experiences in mind. Half of the album's ten engaging essays were written by trumpeter Daniel Barry, four by Cutler and one ("Visions at the Monkey Bar") by baritone saxophonist James DeJoie who has his own tour de force, Barry's presumably Sauter-Finegan inspired “Spirit World." The shuffling opener, “Bella's Boogie," was penned by Cutler for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra: In Progress

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It's not true that I never met a big band I didn't like. I just haven't met any lately--especially not from the Seattle area, which gradually and without fanfare has become a breeding ground for invigorating contemporary big band jazz. Case in point: the Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra, whose debut CD, In Progress, is a corker from start to finish, and a textbook example of how admirable a regional “no-big-name band can be if everyone is on the same page ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra: In Progress

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The Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra, a hard-driving local house band from Seattle, debuts with this album sculpted in the finest big band tradition. Led by saxophonist and composer Jim Cutler, the sixteen-piece big band features the best talented musicians from the Puget Sound area. The thirteen lively big band arrangements here are entirely comprised of new original compositions from Cutler and trumpeter Daniel Barry, except for John Coltrane's “Dear Love.

The repertoire conveys a modern swing rhythm, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Jim Cutler Quartet: For Real

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For its second outing, the Jim Cutler Quartet delivers twelve tracks, of which all but one are original compositions—mostly from Cutler, with two from pianist Brian Olendorf and one from bassist Philip Demaree. The personnel for this Seattle-area group is the same as on its 2002 debut, JCQ.

The music presented on For Real is straight down the middle of the fairway. Cutler is a good melody player and his tenor styling is lyrically in the Scott Hamilton ...