by Russell Moon
Ken Schaphorst is associated with big band albums, the best known and best distributed, I suspect, being Purple (Naxos, 1998).
With Indigenous Technology Schaphorst takes a new look on the jazz trio. Schaphorst plays trumpet, flugelhorn or piano on the record alongside cellist Matt Turner and marimba/percussion player Dane Richeson. There is no drummer here.
It would be fair to categorize this recording as New Age, but the featured improvisation is far better than that genre's usual light fare, perhaps ...read more
by Mark Corroto
As a jazz fan who’s listening preferences tend toward small group recordings, I find big band recordings, by definition tend to be, well...BIG. Most large ensembles, like ocean liners, have trouble maneuvering, their sounds tend to be crowded and loud. By the time Leonardo screams “iceberg” it’s too late, the record is sunk. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed Purple by captain and arranger Ken Schaphorst, his 19-piece band steers clear of the largeness. Schaphorst, the director of Jazz studies at ...read more
by Jack Bowers
Unlike some Jazz composers who write unpretentious big–band charts designed to serve as springboards for soloists, Ken Schaphorst approaches the task with soloists in mind but focuses always on orchestral textures and colors, employing improvisation as an integral element in the over–all compositional makeup. Instead of playing “outside” the chart with rhythm accompaniment, as is so often the case, Schaphorst’s soloists usually must adapt to its nuances, tailoring their approach to suit its particular needs without sacrificing warmth or creativity. ...read more