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ALBUM REVIEW

Justin Morell: Concerto for Guitar and Jazz Orchestra

Read "Concerto for Guitar and Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Justin Morell, himself a world-class guitarist, does not play guitar (or anything else) on this splendid new album, which, even so, could not have taken flight without him. Morell, an assistant professor of music at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania, composed and arranged the inclusive three-movement Concerto for Guitar and Jazz Orchestra, performed in his stead by guitar maestro Adam Rogers with the University of Miami's superb Frost Concert Jazz Band directed by 2019 double Grammy Award winner John Daversa. ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Justin Morell: Concerto for Guitar and Jazz Orchestra

Read "Concerto for Guitar and Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Guitarist/composer Justin Morell has recorded six albums as a leader, and written several ensemble pieces that featured guitar parts. He found that he enjoyed exploring the guitar's capabilities, so the Concerto was created to focus on the guitar as solo instrument accompanied by a large ensemble in the classical concerto tradition. He joined with his lifelong friend John Daversa (director of the Frost Concert Jazz Band at the University of Miami) and recruited veteran jazz guitarist Adam Rogers to play ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Justin Morell: Justin Morell Dectet - Subjects and Compliments

Read "Justin Morell Dectet - Subjects and Compliments" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Guitarist Justin Morell has succumb to his inner conflict between jazz and classical musics and composed a dozen pieces bowing to each in what may best be considered a jazz suite. This is not Gunther Schuller's “Third Stream" or the Modern Jazz Quartet's chamber jazz. It is a little bigger than that. Morell leads one of those provocative ensembles that is neither a big band or a small combo.There is orchestral magic between seven-and eleven-member groups that cast ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Justin Morell Quintet: The Music Of Steely Dan

Read "The Music Of Steely Dan" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Rock/pop band, “Steely Dan" signified the epitome of hip-ness thanks to a string of monumentally successful recordings. They blended cool, jazzy licks with memorably melodic themes and soul, blues, rock frameworks during their successful 1970's run. In fact, the main proprietors of the band, keyboardist, Donald Fagen, and bassist, Walter Becker hired well-known jazz session musicians on several occasions. So, the jazz connection was in place, amid the unit's witty or perhaps, Dylan-esque lyricism and often endearing arrangements. With that, ...


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