Articles

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

ALBUM REVIEW

Rob McConnell and the SWR Big Band: So Very Rob

Read "So Very Rob" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Few big bands anywhere have a more far-reaching or well-deserved reputation for excellence than Germany’s SWR Big Band, which began life in the early ’50s as Erwin Lehn and his Southern Radio Dance Orchestra. When Lehn stepped aside in 1991 after forty years at the helm, the Stuttgart-based band didn’t miss a beat, swinging resiliently onward first as the SDR Big Band and later the SWR. It was in 1992, barely a year after Lehn’s departure, that composer/arranger/bandleader/valve trombonist extraordinaire ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Rob McConnell: Rob McConnell Tentet

Read "Rob McConnell Tentet" reviewed by AAJ Staff

After decades of recording on a number of labels, including most recently a long stint with Concord, Rob McConnell is releasing once again another one of his almost-annual CD's. At the start of the millennium, he is recording for the first time on the Canadian label, Justin Time, appropriately enough.Recording Rob McConnell Tentet in Toronto, McConnell still reminds his listeners of the reasons for his groups' distinctiveness: fresh, swinging arrangements that belie the relatively few musicians executing his ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Rob McConnell: Tentet

Read "Tentet" reviewed by Craig Jolley

Rob McConnell has trimmed his 17-piece Boss Brass to a streamlined tentet. Besides the advantage of economics the smaller band lends itself to extended soloing and to a flexible ensemble swing. McConnell's intelligently spaced voicings generally avoid the thin sound that sometimes comes out of cut-down bands. (The missing horns are most noticeable when a section backs a soloist.) Personally I prefer the open sound of the smaller band, notably on a subtly fashioned arrangement such as “Speak Low." A ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass: Big Band Christmas

Read "Big Band Christmas" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Having recorded two recent theme–oriented albums for Concord Jazz ( Play the Jazz Classics, Even Canadians Get the Blues ) Rob McConnell and his valorous Boss Brass confront the definitive musical “theme” in a Big Band Christmas. The carols and other seasonal offerings, all expertly arranged by McConnell, are wonderfully recited by an ensemble that is known and respected as much for its tastefulness as for its power and precision. As Rob says in the liner notes, “My approach to ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Rob McConnell: Big Band Christmas

Read "Big Band Christmas" reviewed by Jim Santella

The clear precise intonation of Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass lends itself to Christmas music. And the swinging, fun-loving arrangements are a natural for any holiday season. Rob McConnell has put them together and the result is one swingin’ good time.

Robert Murray Gordon McConnell founded the Boss Brass in 1968 as a working group for his talented arranging skills. Since then he’s released about two dozen albums which feature Toronto’s finest, the leader’s valve trombone melodies, and superb arrangements. A ...


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