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NEWS: EDUCATION

Music Education Monday: Developing a theme into a big band arrangement

Music Education Monday: Developing a theme into a big band arrangement

This week's Music Education Monday is a sort of case study in big band arranging, presented by pianist Bill Dobbins, professor of jazz studies and contemporary media at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. A veteran jazz educator, Dobbins first joined the Eastman faculty in 1973, and played a major role in designing the school's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

National Jazz Ensemble: Featuring Gerry Mulligan

Read "Featuring Gerry Mulligan" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Any new CD whose cover proclaims “Featuring Gerry Mulligan" is guaranteed to turn heads, raise antennae and whip up interest. This one, on which Mulligan performs with the then-three-year-old National Jazz Ensemble, was recorded February 19, 1977, in a sold-out auditorium at the New School in New York City. In his liner notes, trumpeter David Berger ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Bill Mays: Inventions, Conventions and Dimensions

Read "Bill Mays: Inventions, Conventions and Dimensions" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

This title is more than a rhyme: it's an attempt to capture some of the legendary versatility of pianist Bill Mays. “Inventions" refers to his unprecedented, working jazz trio of piano, trumpet, and cello. “Conventions" is a nod to his invaluable contribution to the annual meeting of the International Society of Bassists (in 2013, he played ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND CARAVAN

Stan Kenton-NOVA Jazz Orchestra / Baker's Dozen Big Band / Danny D'Imperio and the Bloviators

Read "Stan Kenton-NOVA Jazz Orchestra / Baker's Dozen Big Band / Danny D'Imperio and the Bloviators" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Stan Kenton Orchestra / NOVA Jazz Orchestra

Double Feature, Vol. 2

Tantara Productions

2012

One of the more difficult aspects of reviewing Tantara's series of impressive salutes to Stan Kenton and his music is knowing where to begin. As on Volume 1 of the label's Double Feature (with Volume 3 ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Erica Seguine / Shannon Baker Jazz Orchestra: New York, October 20, 2011

Read "Erica Seguine / Shannon Baker Jazz Orchestra: New York, October 20, 2011" reviewed by Daniel Lehner

Erica Seguine/Shannon Baker Jazz Orchestra
Somethin' Jazz Club
New York, NY
October 20, 2011

Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz postulated that the present becomes the past only when a new present emerges. The existence of the contemporary big band--exemplified by restless creativity but a somewhat limited playing capacity--seems to belong to a handful of ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

BuJazzO: That's German for Swinging Big Band Jazz

Read "BuJazzO: That's German for Swinging Big Band Jazz" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On August 8, my friend Wes Pfarner and I drove to Santa Fe for a once-in-a lifetime event: a performance by the German Federal Youth Jazz Orchestra, better known to big band enthusiasts by its more condensed and colorful name, BuJazzO. The twenty-piece ensemble, directed by Jiggs Whigham, an American trombonist and educator from Cleveland, Ohio, ...

Rick Holland–Evan Dobbins Little Big Band / Empire Jazz Orchestra / Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra

Read "Rick Holland–Evan Dobbins Little Big Band / Empire Jazz Orchestra / Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Rick Holland--Evan Dobbins Little Big Band

Trilby

RPO Productions

2010

Five years after a sensational opening act (In Time's Shadow, 2006), trumpeter Rick Holland and trombonist Evan Dobbins have returned for an encore, Trilby, marshaling as before their irrepressible Little Big Band. As was noted of that earlier recording, ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND CARAVAN

Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchesta / Vaughn Wiester / Chie Imaizumi

Read "Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchesta / Vaughn Wiester / Chie Imaizumi" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Buselli--Wallarab Jazz Orchestra

Mezzanine

Owl Studios

2010

After veering slightly off-course recently with several albums devoted in part to backing singers, the outstanding Indianapolis-based Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra is back in a more pleasing instrumental groove on Mezzanine, profiling the compositions and arrangements of co-leader / trombonist Brent Wallarab. The first ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill Dobbins/John Goldsby/Peter Erskine: Cologne

Read "Cologne" reviewed by John Kelman

First impressions can sometimes be deceiving and should sometimes be ignored; otherwise one stands the risk of missing out on something greater. The first couple of tracks on Cologne clearly have their roots in the work of Bill Evans, specifically his trio with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. Bassist John Goldsby's playing stands out ...