Articles | Popular | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Brussels Jazz Orchestra / Royal Flemish Philharmonic: Dangerous Liaison

Read "Dangerous Liaison" reviewed by Jack Bowers

I am loath to use the word masterpiece when appraising any musical endeavor, but there is simply no better way to describe these remarkable compositions for big band and symphony orchestra by the superb Belgian composer/trumpeter Bert Joris, which together frame the definitive answer to anyone who says there's not much happening on the European jazz scene.

Joris was commissioned by the Brussels Jazz Orchestra and Royal Flemish Philharmonic to write two compositions for big band and orchestra, and they ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Brussels Jazz Orchestra: Countermove

Read "Countermove" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Brussels Jazz Orchestra, which has welcomed in the past such eminent composer/arrangers as Bill Holman, Maria Schneider, Kenny Werner and Phil Woods, and has played the music of noted Belgians Bert Joris and Michel Herr, turns for a second time on this new album to works by its talented artistic director/lead alto saxophonist, Frank Vaganée, whose musical expertise is undeniably comparable to those already named.

Vaganée's elaborate charts run the gamut from blues to ballads, shuffle rhythms to flat-out ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Brussels Jazz Orchestra: The Music of Bert Joris

Read "The Music of Bert Joris" reviewed by Jack Bowers

We’ve sung the praises of the Brussels Jazz Orchestra before ( The September Sessions ) but never so loudly as for this new two–disc set on which the BJO plays the music of the marvelous Belgian composer / arranger / trumpeter Bert Joris. And what music it is! Melodically rich, harmonically sophisticated, invariably bright and swinging — in short, everything one could wish from an enterprising and resourceful big–band craftsman, which Joris certainly is. His sunny compositions are so perfectly ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Brussels Jazz Orchestra: Live

Read "Live" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Although Belgium doesn’t leap readily to mind when the conversation turns to hotbeds of Jazz, that country has produced a handful of outstanding Jazz musicians — Toots Thielemans, Bobby Jaspar and a few others — and boasts at least one world–class big band, the Brussels Jazz Orchestra. On Live, recorded in May ’97, the BJO performs three compositions by one of Belgium’s leading composer/arranger/players, trumpeter Bert Joris, one by saxophonist Erwin Vann and another by the orchestra’s leader/alto saxophonist, Frank ...