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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The West Point Band's Jazz Knights: Turning Points

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Based at the United States Military Academy in upstate New York, the West Point Band's Jazz Knights just happens to be one of those unheralded big bands around. Performing at public events as part of its official duties, the Knights are rarely given the credit they are due as an uncommon and exceptional musical organization. Perhaps the production of the stellar Turning Points may be that secret weapon that defines this group as world-class in every way. A seventeen-piece big ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The West Point Band's Jazz Knights: At First Light

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Decades ago, the great bandleader Stan Kenton created a spoken prologue to an album recording. It was entitled “This Is an Orchestra." In that brief monologue, which was interspersed with brief performance examples, Kenton detailed the individual and ensemble components, integration, and overall creative mix that “made" the Kenton Jazz Orchestra what it was. At First Light epitomizes the absolute best that its soloists, sections, ensembles, and arrangers and composers have to offer. It is a truly ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The West Point Band's Jazz Knights: At First Light

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The United States Military Academy has several bands drawn from graduates of prestigious music schools in the U.S. The Jazz Knights, who form one segment, have been around for 30 years. During that time they have played with Benny Goodman and the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and have also welcomed Steve Turre, James Carter and John Clayton, among others, as guests. At First Light tells its own tale of a resolute band, with a program of original material and a couple ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The West Point Band's Jazz Knights: At First Light

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Imagine serving your country by displaying your artistic gifts. That's what the members of the West Point Band's Jazz Knights do, and they do it well. The U.S. Military Academy Band's Jazz Knights have been doing it for more than 30 years. The members are carefully selected from various institutions around the United States. They've played with a variety of jazz icons, such as Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, Ahmad Jamal, Count Basie and the Glenn Miller ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The West Point Band's Jazz Knights: At First Light

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The Jazz Knights, West Point's jazz ensemble, is the U.S Army's contribution to big band jazz. An outfit that recruits its members from the finest of the nation's music education schools, it has produced a vibrant, first rate outing with At First Light.It's obvious within the first moments of the opening cut, the Dietz/Swartz standard, “Alone Together," that the Jazz Knights are a disciplined, polished outfit. Their rhythm team is tight and a bunch of horn guys buff ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The West Point Band's Jazz Knights: At First Light

Read "At First Light" reviewed by

With jazz music under assault lately from the recent loss of IAJE to the demise of jazz radio stations throughout the country, it's comforting to know that jazz has many defenders everywhere. Among them are the soldier-musicians from the United States Military Academy at West Point, known as The Academy's Jazz Knights Big Band. They've launched a salvo of dazzling big band music with the self-released At First Light, an album of dynamite-packed swinging big band charts, guaranteed ...


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