Articles

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

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Album Review

Joe Sullivan Big Band: Unfamiliar Surroundings

Read "Unfamiliar Surroundings" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Unfamiliar Surroundings, a well-designed two-CD set by trumpeter Joe Sullivan's all-star ensemble from north of the border, consists of three disparate suites, two on Disc 1, the other on Disc 2. If the surroundings seem unfamiliar, the music is not, as it honors the legendary bellwethers of the Big Band Era without echoing any of them. Sullivan is a modern big band composer / arranger in the best sense of the phrase, writing music that is at ease in the ...

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Album Review

Joe Sullivan: Whisky Jack Waltz

Read "Whisky Jack Waltz" reviewed by Geannine Reid


Trumpeter, composer, arranger and educator Joe Sullivan grew up in a large Franco-Ontarian family in the Northern Ontario town of Timmins. As a youth, music was a part of daily life. Sullivan began his formal training on piano and at the age of fifteen he also started playing the trumpet. In his formative years, Sullivan led an active musical life that included performances in classical piano competitions, rock bands and high school concert and stage bands. Sullivan received a Bachelor ...

2

Album Review

Joe Sullivan Big Band: Northern Ontario Suite

Read "Northern Ontario Suite" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The latest recording by Canadian trumpeter Joe Sullivan's big band is built around his picturesque six-movement Northern Ontario Suite, whose purpose is to portray musically the sights, sounds and ambience of Sullivan's frosty corner of the world including the often spectacular aurora borealis ("northern lights"). The suite is preceded by a pair of Sullivan's engaging compositions ("Plus ca Change," “Mambo #6") and followed by baritone saxophonist Jean Frechette's “Later Joe." While it is difficult for someone who ...

284

Album Review

Joe Sullivan Big Band: Stop and Listen

Read "Stop and Listen" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The first time I reviewed an album by the Joe Sullivan Big Band was in a blindfold test. I had no idea whose band it was or where it was based. After lavishing praise on the ensemble as a whole and its various soloists, I summarized the analysis by writing, “This is a world-class big band performing top-notch material on a marvelously recorded album.... Sullivan, a trumpeter who makes his home and his living in Montréal, Canada, has now released ...

261

Extended Analysis

Joe Sullivan Big Band

Read "Joe Sullivan Big Band" reviewed by Paul Olson


Joe Sullivan Joe Sullivan Big Band Effendi Records 2004

I'll just go ahead and state the obvious: you'd have to be crazy to form a jazz big band.

It wasn't always so: in the swing era, of course, that was what people wanted to hear. That's what a jazz band was. For many decades, however, no proposition could be more exhausting than assembling and maintaining a big band. It's hard to get gigs. It's ...

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Album Review

Joe Sullivan: Rumours From The Soul

Read "Rumours From The Soul" reviewed by Jim Santella


A sextet lineup allows for the extra saxophone sound that means more harmony, more color, and a fuller aural picture. And yet there's clearly an ease of control because the ensemble is still small enough to work together well and allow for soloists to stretch out. Trumpeter Joe Sullivan brings his sextet of saxophonists Andre Leroux and Jean Frechette, bassist George Mitchell, pianist Tilden Webb, and drummer Dave Robbins to the studio for his second recording venture as a leader. ...


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