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Andrew Neu: The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu

Read "The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu" reviewed by Jack Bowers

No matter where The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu has been hiding, it's a real kick and genuine pleasure to have it in plain sight and within earshot, especially as Neu has at his side a number of the Los Angeles area's most accomplished sidemen and no less than seven superlative guest artists who lend ...


Introducing Phil Stewart: Melodious Drum

Read "Melodious Drum" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Cellar Live Records continues its run of admirable mainstream albums with Melodious Drum, Canadian-born and New York City-based Phil Stewart's debut as leader of his own groups, which range from trio to sextet. It's an interesting title, as Stewart's drums may be congenial but aren't melodious in the manner of, say, Jeff Hamilton, Ed Thigpen, Shelly ...


Dutch Concert Big Band: Plays Dutch Originals

Read "Plays Dutch Originals" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If you think locating a needle in a haystack is strenuous, try finding something less than complimentary to say about Plays Dutch Originals, an absolutely marvelous recording by the superlative Dutch Concert Big Band. As far as can be determined, this is the only album set down (to date) by the band, which was formed in ...


Adam Shulman Sextet: Full Tilt

Read "Full Tilt" reviewed by Jack Bowers

In music, as in life, not every new voice is worth hearing. Here's one that is. Full Tilt, the fifth CD by San Francisco-born and based pianist Adam Shulman's sextet, is a throwback to those halcyon days when bop was king and giants like Diz, Bird, Miles, Max Roach, Hank Mobley, Benny Golson, Horace Silver, Wardell ...


Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine: Tasty Tunes

Read "Tasty Tunes" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Tasty Tunes is the fifth CD by Ira B. Liss' stalwart San Diego-based Jazz Machine, which was formed almost forty years ago, in 1979--a span that, when reckoned in big-band years, is much closer to a century or more. While other bands have come and gone the Jazz Machine has adamantly stayed the course, presenting dynamic ...


Stan Bann: Penmanship

Read "Penmanship" reviewed by Jack Bowers

To those who know him, it's no secret that Stan Bann is partial to the trombone. After all, the Minnesota-based composer / arranger plays one himself, leads Stan Bann's Big Bone Band and is a mainstay as writer and performer with the Minneapolis Trombone Choir. And as if that weren't a large enough clue, Bann welcomes ...


Michael Waldrop: Origin Suite

Read "Origin Suite" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Drummer / vibraphonist Michael Waldrop's intriguing Origin Suite (deftly arranged by Jack Cooper) sweeps away musical boundaries to make its points, one of which is that big-band jazz needn't be ensnared in a time warp but is capable of changing with the times to engender songs that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are thematically stylish. ...


The Scott Hamilton Trio: Live at Pyatt Hall

Read "Live at Pyatt Hall" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Even though the Swing Era vanished long ago into the mists of time, likely never to return, it continues to have its champions, especially on the tenor saxophone: masters such as Harry Allen, Ken Peplowski, Grant Stewart, Cory Weeds (who owns the Cellar Live label and produced this splendid album) and last but by no means ...


OSU Jazz Orchestra: Solid Gold

Read "Solid Gold" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Having overseen one impressive Jazz Studies program, at Northeast (OK) State University in Tahlequah, Tommy Poole has moved on to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater where he seems well on the way to repeating that success. The subtitle of Solid Gold, the first recording under Poole's direction by the OSU Jazz Orchestra, reads “featuring Michael Dease." ...


Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Open Borders brings to the fore Canadian-born pianist Earl MacDonald's burnished tentet in a program that consists of eleven sunlit and swinging themes, five of which were composed by the leader. Besides writing, MacDonald did most of the arranging, and he excels in both arenas, as he does on piano (most notably on the standards “Blame ...