by Andrew J. Sammut
Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra YMCA Theater Cambridge, MA April 29, 2011 A local community center turned into a forward-thinking artistic venue when the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra ascended the small stage at the Cambridge YMCA. The JCAO plays original works by a membership drawn from Boston's (naturally) progressive jazz community, with several performers doubling as faculty at Berklee College of Music and other renowned local institutions. This diverse talent pool ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
The Jazz Composers Alliance (JCA) Orchestra was formed in 1985 and boasts of having “some of New England’s finest improvising musicians.” That is proved on this live recording. More importantly, the recording shows the compositional skills of resident composers Laura Andel, Warren Senders, David Harris, and Darrell Katz, who is the founder and director of the JCA. All four have strength for structure. They also leave enough room for the creative designs of improvisation. In tandem, the music takes on ...read more
by Jim Santella
The exotic title track for this big band recording opens the album with a bang. Screeching trumpets, growling trombones, and a whistling piccolo create a jungle scene that allows for the merging of contemporary orchestral music with those timbres most familiar to a big band. Individual cadenzas weave between powerful ensemble statements. Composers David Harris, Darrell Katz, Laura Andel and Warren Senders express their thoughts with the world’s music at hand.
Later, pieces that reflect mystical journeys ...read more