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Gordon Lee with the Mel Brown Septet: Tuesday Night

Read "Tuesday Night" reviewed by Jack Bowers

For more than sixteen years, jazz fans in and around Portland, Oregon, have had the pleasure of seeing and hearing drummer Mel Brown's hard-blowing Jazz Messengers-style septet each Tuesday Night at Jimmy Mak's nightclub. Among its mainstays is pianist Gordon Lee who has been writing and arranging for the group almost since he enlisted shortly afterward and in fact much earlier, as the then-sextet recorded an album of his music, Gordon Bleu, in the late 1980s, a brief time before ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Gordon Lee and the GLeeful Big Band: Flying Dream

Read "Flying Dream" reviewed by Jack Bowers

We’re not told much about Gordon Lee except that he’s a Portland, Oregon-based music educator who has performed and recorded with a number of small groups and has been writing big-band charts for eight years. His influences, he writes in the brief liner notes, range from Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Maria Schneider to Gustav Mahler and Igor Stravinsky, and the imprint of one or more of them is visible from time to time in each ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Gordon Lee and the Gleeful Big Band: Flying Dream

Read "Flying Dream" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

With big bands, it's all about the arrangements. Those charts have to have that spark, as well as a depth and complexity. Then the solo slots--those punctuating flights of improvisation--have to soar, of course. They do here; they almost always do at this top level of musicianship; but it's the textures, the layerings, the eyebrow-raising counterpoints that make the set.Gordon Lee and the Gleeful Big Band's Flying Dream bubbles over the top of the pot with superb arrangements.


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