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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Roberto Magris Sextet: Sun Stone

Read "Sun Stone" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Italian-born pianist Roberto Magris likes to change things up. He can be seen and heard leading groups from trio to octet and beyond, and meshing quite comfortably into groups of all shapes and sizes. On Sun Stone, his fifteenth recording for JMood Records, Magris fronts an admirable sextet whose front-line includes the venerable Ira Sullivan on ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The 14 Jazz Orchestra: The Future Ain't What It Used to Be

Read "The Future Ain't What It Used to Be" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Future Ain't What It Used to Be, the second album by South Florida's impressive The 14 Jazz Orchestra, is by and large like its precursor: swinging, straight-down-the-fairway big-band jazz underlined by leader Dan Bonsanti's admirable charts. As before, each of the songs was written by a blue-chip composer, from Chick Corea and Antonio Carlos Jobim ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

New Standard Jazz Orchestra: Waltz About Nothing

Read "Waltz About Nothing" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Any orchestra that professes to establish a new standard had better be able to back that up. Happily for the listener, on its debut recording, Waltz About Nothing, Chicago's New Standard Jazz Orchestra can--and does. In a little more than two years, the NSJO has arisen as a worthy successor to one of the more exemplary ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tom Matta Big Band: Standards

Read "Standards" reviewed by Jack Bowers

What's in a name? After all, a big-band jazz album by any other name would sound the same. On the other hand, it should be pointed out that as the versatile Tom Matta has chosen the name Standards to define his second album as leader of the Chicago-based Tom Matta Big Band, only three of the ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

The Rob Parton Big Band: Christmas Time Is Here

Read "The Rob Parton Big Band: Christmas Time Is Here" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The only plausible impetus for releasing an album of Christmas themes so close to the holiday itself is the inclusion of music that transcends the season and may be auditioned and appreciated throughout the year. Trombonist Chris McDonald accomplished that with his splendid album In the Mood for Christmas, and trumpeter Rob Parton has mirrored that ...

Pointing Fingers... And Naming Names

Read "Pointing Fingers... And Naming Names" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As the countdown continues toward the last Big Band Report in June, the time has come to point fingers and name names--in other words, to compile a short list of contemporary jazz musicians who have risen above the norm to help make life more pleasurable for one devoted listener. These are, mind you, personal choices, and ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

"Lone Wolf" Finds Plenty to Chew On

Read ""Lone Wolf" Finds Plenty to Chew On" reviewed by Jack Bowers

With Betty sidelined by a bad cough, it was up to me to seek out local jazz events in February, and I managed to find a couple of pretty good ones, starting February 7 at the University of New Mexico's Keller Hall where SuperSax New Mexico performed for the third time in Albuquerque. As you may ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND CARAVAN

John Burnett Swing Orchestra / University of Missouri Concert Big Band / Either-Orchestra

Read "John Burnett Swing Orchestra / University of Missouri Concert Big Band / Either-Orchestra" reviewed by Jack Bowers

John Burnett Swing Orchestra

Down for Double

Delmark

2010

John Burnett, an Englishman who now lives and works (as a morning host at WDCB Radio) in suburban Chicago, is a great admirer of the golden age of big bands in the U.S., which spanned roughly three decades, from the 1930s through ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bob Lark and Friends: Cathy's Song

Read "Cathy's Song" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Trumpeter Bob Lark's “friends," on his fourth album for Jazzed Media Records, include alto saxophonist Phil Woods (two tracks), pianist Jim McNeely and bassist Rufus Reid (four apiece). There's a six-member string section on three numbers, on which Lark's flugelhorn is the only horn, while the selections with McNeely and Reid are scored for trio with ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Strike Up the (Unsung) Bands

Read "Strike Up  the (Unsung) Bands" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The big band era is known for producing a number of enormously successful ensembles whose leaders were household names: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Jimmie Lunceford, Fletcher Henderson, then on through Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, the brothers Jimmy Dorsey and Tommy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet, Artie Shaw, Harry James, Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and, ...