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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Chris Walden Big Band: Full-On!

Read "Chris Walden Big Band: Full-On!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

To say that Chris Walden's instrumental compositions and arrangements are the best part of his new big-band album, Full-On!, is not to dismiss the rest as less than adequate. Walden's charts for the ensemble, on the other hand, do provide much of the excitement in a session that is otherwise dominated by vocals (seven in all), several of which are more overwrought than enlightening. Take, for example, “I Can Cook Too" and “Sir Duke," both sung by ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Chris Walden Big Band: Full-On!

Read "Full-On!" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

It's been a while since the jazz world has seen a release from this group. The first three albums credited to the Chris Walden Big Band--the Grammy-nominated Home Of My Heart (Origin Records, 2005), No Bounds (Origin Records, 2006), and Kurt Marti Suite (Origin Records, 2007)--came in quick succession. And then there was silence from Walden. Well, that's not exactly true. Walden's actually been quite busy in the interim, even if his work didn't center on his own big band. ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Chris Walden: Symphony No. 1 - The Four Elements

Read "Chris Walden: Symphony No. 1 - The Four Elements" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Chris Walden Symphony No. 1 - The Four Elements Origin Records 2008

Chris Walden is probably best known to AAJ readers as a big band leader and composer. But his interest in developing other forms has already garnered him two Grammy nominations, and here he ventures into the serious orchestral realm. He takes the four elements--Earth, Water, Air and Fire--and uses them as the basis of four symphonic movements in the post-romantic programmatic style ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Chris Walden Big Band & St. John's Choir: Kurt Marti Suite

Read "Kurt Marti Suite" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The German-born composer/band leader Chris Walden pays the rent with his television and movie work, scoring over thirty feature and television films, in addition to his writing for a variety of musical artists, including--Christopher Cross, Michael Bolton, Sheryl Crow, Paul Anka and Olivia Newton-John. The art of his heart, though, must certainly be his big band recordings, including No Bounds (Origin Records, 2006) and the Grammy nominated (Best Large Jazz Ensemble and Best Instrumental Arrangement) Home of My Heart (Origin ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Chris Walden Big Band & St. John's Choir: Kurt Marti Suite

Read "Kurt Marti Suite" reviewed by Jack Bowers

It's hard to wrap one's arms around this CD by composer/arranger Chris Walden. On the one hand, Walden has coupled his intrepid ensemble of talented southern California sidemen with the 100-member St. John's Choir from Hamburg, Germany (his hometown), to set to music works by the renowned Swiss poet/lyricist Kurt Marti. On the other, the playing time is only 36:55--less than half a disc's worth--and that includes a five-minutes-plus “bonus track, the late Michael Brecker's “Slings and Arrows.

Setting that ...

INTERVIEW

Chris Walden: Big Band Magic With No Bounds

Read "Chris Walden: Big Band Magic With No Bounds" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Chris Walden is a highly gifted and creative composer and arranger who is equally at home writing and conducting music for film, TV, and jazz venues. Based in Los Angeles, he came to the U.S. from Germany in 1996, where, in his twenties, he had already established a fine reputation in multiple aspects of the music business. His recent Grammy nominations for his debut big band CD Home of My Heart (Origin, 2005) and the release of the follow-up CD, ...

ALBUM REVIEW

The Chris Walden Big Band: No Bounds

Read "No Bounds" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Any way you slice it, it's not easy for a big band to earn a Grammy Award nomination. Composer/arranger Chris Walden's debut album, Home of My Heart, received not one but two, for Best Large Jazz Ensemble and Best Instrumental Arrangement. One year later, Walden returns with another strong contender, No Bounds, showcasing eleven of his exemplary charts performed by an all-star ensemble of Los Angeles-area studio/big band musicians.

Walden, who is originally from Germany, is buoyed on this new ...


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