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The Flying Horse Big Band: The Bat Swings!

Read "The Bat Swings!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Although The Bat Swings! could well be taken for a baseball analogy, the focus of this third CD by the University of Central Florida's high-powered Flying Horse Big Band is on music associated with the campy Batman TV series from the late 1960s that starred Adam West as the masked superhero and Burt Ward as his ...

New England Jazz Ensemble: Peter and the Wolf

Read "Peter and the Wolf" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As the Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev composed the children's tale Peter and the Wolf to introduce classical music to a wider audience, so the world-class New England Jazz Ensemble has reimagined Prokofiev's beloved fantasy in jazz terms as a pathway to a greater awareness of its singular style of music. The redesigned suite, which encompasses almost ...

Lasse Lindgren Big Constellation: The Unrecorded Fox

Read "The Unrecorded Fox" reviewed by Jack Bowers

When it comes to playing high-note jazz trumpet, the late great Maynard Ferguson was, is and perhaps always will be the standard to which every specialist in that limited field aspires. Yes, there have been assorted claimants--Cat Anderson, Ziggy Elman, Jon Faddis, Dave Stahl, Eric Miyashiro, Wayne Bergeron and Dennis Noday spring to mind--but no one ...

Bob Mintzer Big Band / New York Voices: Meeting of Minds

Read "Meeting of Minds" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Here's an appetizing treat for fans of big bands and vocals alike, neatly wrapped in one handsome package by the stalwart Bob Mintzer Big Band and the splendid New York Voices. Together, band and voices take a fresh look at eight memorable standards from the Great American Songbook written by such master craftsmen as Cole Porter, ...

Jim Snidero & Jeremy Pelt: Jubilation!

Read "Jubilation!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The complete title of this splendid album by alto saxophonist Jim Snidero and trumpeter Jeremy Pelt's New York-based quintet is Jubilation! Celebrating Cannonball Adderley. In other words, honoring the life and music of one of the jazz world's most illustrious altos, a consummate artist (and showman) who ranks alongside Bird, Stitt, Pepper, Konitz, Desmond, Woods, McLean ...

Hazel Leach / Composers' Orchestra Berlin: Postcard Collection

Read "Postcard Collection" reviewed by Jack Bowers

These picturesque “postcards" from composer / arranger Hazel Leach's well-appointed Composers' Orchestra Berlin are addressed to various locales in Europe and South America, presumably designed to echo musically the special nature of each site. Oddly enough, as there are only eight cards to be delivered, the album opens with Postcards 10 and 11, aimed at Caracas, ...

Cesar Cardoso: Interchange

Read "Interchange" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Every now and then, musicians whose names and reputations are relatively unknown may be appraised in some measure by the company they keep. On his third recording as leader, Portuguese-born tenor saxophonist Cesar Cardoso, a new name in this neighborhood, is in splendid company indeed, adding to his working quartet the talents of multi-Grammy Award nominee ...

2017 Howard University Jazz Ensemble: A Tribute to Geri Allen

Read "A Tribute to Geri Allen" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Pianist / composer Geri Allen, one of the Howard University Jazz Studies program's distinguished alumnae, left us far too soon, succumbing to cancer on June 27, 2017, two weeks after her sixtieth birthday. During a career that spanned more than thirty-five years, Allen performed and recorded with a who's who of renowned jazz artists from Ron ...

Jungsu Choi Tiny Orkester: Tschuss Jazz Era

Read "Tschuss Jazz Era" reviewed by Jack Bowers

At last, after lo these many years, a big band--make that a Tiny Orkester--from South Korea. If that's not surprising enough, what is even more striking is that composer / arranger Jungsu Choi's diminutive ensemble (tentet plus voices) is highly proficient and really swings. Choi wrote two of the album's five numbers; the others are Charlie ...

Salvo Losappio: Long Story Short

Read "Long Story Short" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Although Long Story Short is an entirely appropriate title for Italian-born tenor saxophonist Salvo Losappio's debut CD as leader, as its playing time is a lean LP-like thirty-eight minutes, Rush Job might have been an even better one. Losappio's name and face adorn the front cover of the album, which names his four sidemen but does ...