All About Jazz

Home » Articles | Reviews Only

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

Articles by Jack Bowers

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Hedrich: New Hope

Read "New Hope" reviewed by

In a blindfold test, one would be hard-pressed to name the leader on the album New Hope. According to the jacket, young German-born trombonist Peter Hedrich leads the way but while he does solo on eight of eleven numbers he's basically one of the group, laying claim to no more blowing space than his colleagues, especially saxophonist Tim Sammel and pianist Felix Hauptmann. The album is a tribute to the American-born trombonist Jiggs Whigham who has spent many years in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The South Florida Jazz Orchestra: The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming

Read "The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming" reviewed by

When a big band devotes an entire album to the compositions and arrangements of one musician, the obvious opening question is: why? In other words, who is Gary Lindsay and why is the South Florida Jazz Orchestra performing his music? In brief, the answer is that Lindsay, an alto saxophonist and well-respected educator, has written and arranged music for Maynard Ferguson, the U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note and Florida Philharmonic, among others, and was nominated for a Grammy Award ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Heller: Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller

Read "Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller" reviewed by

Granted, Paul Heller meeting Roman Schwaller isn't such a big deal here in the States. It is, however, quite a big deal in Germany and western Europe as a whole where Heller and Schwaller are among the reigning monarchs of the tenor saxophone, akin to such American twosomes as Ammons / Gordon, Sims / Cohn or, more recently, Harry Allen / Scott Hamilton, among others. Setting aside the country of origin, this is powerful and perceptive post-bop blowing at its ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phil Allen's Concert Jazz Band: North Greenbush Blues

Read "North Greenbush Blues" reviewed by

North Greenbush Blues marks the recorded debut of Indiana-born, New York State-based trombonist Phil Allen's glove-tight and remarkably robust Concert Jazz Band. The album has many pleasures, but what stands out most are Allen's impressive charts, which give the ensemble ample sustenance and reason to shine. Allen wrote six of the album's nine tunes and arranged every number including Dylan Canterbury's fast-moving “Speed Trap," Chris Pasin's melodious “Fragile Creature" and Gary McFarland's emotive “Why Are You Blue?" ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Sanabria: West Side Story Reimagined

Read "West Side Story Reimagined" reviewed by

William Shakespeare's epic tragedy Romeo and Juliet made a huge splash when it reached Broadway in 1957 in the guise of West Side Story, in which the warring Montagues and Capulets were replaced by New York City street gangs, the Italian-American Jets and Puerto Rican Sharks. The newer version, with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, ran for 732 performances before going on tour and has been performed in theatres across the country ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tom Lundberg: Prime Time

Read "Prime Time" reviewed by

It was only a matter of (prime) time until someone decided to lend a jazz spin to a number of nighttime television's most popular and enduring theme songs. The number here is twelve, the someone in question trombonist Tom Lundberg who leads a trim and versatile octet through its paces on the suitably named Prime Time, performing generally well-drawn arrangements by Terry Vosbein. While Vosbein does the best he can, reupholstering these themes is no easy task, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra: Flyin' Through Florida

Read "Flyin' Through Florida" reviewed by

The number of jazz-centered big bands “on the road" these days can be counted on the fingers of one hand with a digit or two to spare. The Glenn Miller and Count Basie orchestras remain randomly active, the Duke Ellington and Woody Herman progeny somewhat less so. As for the rest . . . R.I.P. Stan Kenton, another pillar of the Big Band Era, made it clear he wanted no “ghost band" touring and playing his music long after he ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra: Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait

Read "Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait" reviewed by

To commemorate Canada's one hundred-fiftieth anniversary in 2017, the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra commissioned eleven of the country's foremost jazz composers to write music “reflecting some aspect of Canada or being Canadian." The resulting Suite 150 was performed for appreciative audiences and recorded for posterity in November 2017 and March 2018 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Besides writing, five of the composers double as soloists on their own themes: trumpeters Richard Gillis ("From Far & Wide") and Christine ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Ricard Big Band: Parallels

Read "Parallels" reviewed by

Whatever else the fates may decree, fortune must be smiling when one can open a big-band album with the workaday theme from “Spider-Man" and make it shine. Bassist David Ricard is fortune's beneficiary here, as are those partisans who are lucky enough to chance upon Parallels, Ricard's third and most recent treatise on big-band excellence. Whereas the leader's earlier recordings were slanted toward the holiday season, the theme of this one, if indeed one can be ascertained, is focused on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Antonio Adolfo: Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica

Read "Encontros - Orquestra Atlantica" reviewed by

After forty years of gigging around the world with a who's who of jazz instrumentalists and singers, the celebrated Brazilian pianist/composer Antonio Adolfo has realized his life-long dream of writing for and recording with a world-class big band--and what a band it is: the remarkable Orquestra Atlantica from Adolfo's home country, formed in 2012 and molded since then into a superior ensemble fully capable of carrying out his every wish and desire. On Encontros, the Orquestra adeptly ...