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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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Album Review

Darrell Katz and the JCA Orchestra: Rats Live on No Evil Star

Read "Rats Live on No Evil Star" reviewed by Jack Bowers


It's a pretty sure bet that appraising any album whose title is also a palindrome isn't going to be a stroll in the park, even more so when the orchestra in question is the Jazz Composers Alliance (rule of thumb: the longer the name, the more abstruse the music) and the instrumentation includes voice, marimba, EWI, sopranino sax and five-string violin. Such is the nature of Rats Live on No Evil Star (try reading it backward), the most recent recording ...

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Album Review

Darrell Katz and the JCA Orchestra: Rats Live on No Evil Star

Read "Rats Live on No Evil Star" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Listening to Darrell Katz's music, it boggles the mind that he is not celebrated as one of the best jazz composers-arrangers around. He has been creating ambitious and accessible works full of humor, social conscience and creativity for decades in the Boston area with the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra and other groups, yet you rarely hear his name. His latest, Rats Live on No Evil Star, is typical of his work, big band jazz with heavy infusions of rock, blues ...

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Album Review

Darrell Katz and OddSong: Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks

Read "Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Darrell Katz has been working in Boston for over 30 years compiling an impressive body of work as leader of the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra whose music has drawn from current events, literary works and anecdotes about Charles Mingus and Albert Einstein among other sources. On this new CD he revisits several of the compositions he's written for the Orchestra with a smaller seven-piece ensemble called OddSong. The makeup of this group is four saxophones, violin ,marimba and ...

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Album Review

Darrell Katz and the JCA Orchestra: Why Do You Ride?

Read "Why Do You Ride?" reviewed by Dave Wayne


Why Do You Ride?, a sweeping, poly-stylistic orchestral paean to bicycling, Albert Einstein, a certain orange kitty cat, and wrongly-attributed quotes (among other diverse topics) is the 10th album by Darrell Katz and his Jazz Composers' Alliance (JCA) Orchestra, which is also celebrating its 30th year of existence. Unlike most jazz artists of his generation, Katz--an excellent guitarist and long-time faculty member at Boston's Berklee School of Music--has resolutely stuck with the big band as his primary means of musical ...

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Album Review

Darrell Katz and the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra: A Wallflower In The Amazon

Read "A Wallflower In The Amazon" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay


The Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra has been part of the Boston music scene since 1985, and A Wallflower In The Amazon is the eighth album in the group's history. Darrell Katz, the Orchestra's Director, has been involved since the beginning: his arrangements on this album draw on this experience to showcase the individual talents of the Orchestra's members, while also drawing them together in some complex but accessible ensemble passages. Rebecca Shrimpton delivers a beautiful vocal performance ...


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