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ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Swingin' on a Riff . . . Hangin' by a Thread?

Read "Swingin' on a Riff . . . Hangin' by a Thread?" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Betty and I returned to Albuquerque on Memorial Day after attending Swingin' on a Riff, the latest in a series of marvelous semi-annual events presented by Ken Poston and the Los Angeles Jazz Institute for more than twenty years at venues in and around L.A. This one was held May 23-26 at the Los Angeles Marriott ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND CARAVAN

R3: Special Big Band / Gull Lake Jazz Orchestra / Empire Jazz Orchestra

Read "R3: Special Big Band / Gull Lake Jazz Orchestra / Empire Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by Jack Bowers

R3: Special Big Band

R3

Summit Records

2012

The “R3" in this Brazilian-based band's name refers to brothers Rafael, Renato and Roger Rocha who together comprise its heart and soul. The “Special" pertains to just about everything else on this impressive debut album. Indeed, there could be even more “R's" in ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND CARAVAN

Budman-Levy Orchestra / Jens Wendelboe Big Band / DiMartino-Osland Jazz Orchestra

Read "Budman-Levy Orchestra / Jens Wendelboe Big Band / DiMartino-Osland Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Budman / Levy Orchestra

From There to Here

OA2 Records

2012

If this splendid album, recorded two years ago (2010), is in any way emblematic of what lies ahead, the long-range outlook for big band jazz is indeed bright and auspicious. Saxophonist Alex Budman and trombonist Jeremy Levy have assembled ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Catching Up

Read "Catching Up" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As our most recent column was devoted exclusively to the Ken Poston / LAJI event, “Modern Sounds," held October 20-24 at the Los Angeles Marriott Airport Hotel, and to the day-long tribute to bandleader Stan Kenton on the hundredth anniversary of his birth that followed, a number of substantive items slipped through the cracks. Before they ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND CARAVAN

Cecilia Coleman Big Band / Phil Norman Tentet / UNT One O'Clock Lab Band

Read "Cecilia Coleman Big Band / Phil Norman Tentet / UNT One O'Clock Lab Band" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Cecilia Coleman Big Band

Oh Boy!

PandaKat Records

2011

Among the many pleasant surprises on Oh Boy!, pianist Cecilia Coleman's maiden voyage as leader of her own big band, perhaps the most eye-opening is that the band had been together for only eight months when the album was recorded by ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It's Off To Jazz We Go . . .

Read "Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It's Off To Jazz We Go . . ." reviewed by Jack Bowers

Just west of Albuquerque, across the Rio Grande River, lies the picturesque village of Corrales (population around 7,500). Among its residents (and natural resources) is world-renowned jazz trumpeter Bobby Shew. With a musician of his caliber within arm's reach, it would have been imprudent not to call upon him to take part in the village's Music ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Craig Akin

Read "Take Five With Craig  Akin" reviewed by Craig Akin

Meet Craig Akin:
Craig Akin is an in-demand upright and electric bassist living in New York City. Between 1997 and 2007, he averaged 270 gigs a year in his musical hometown of Kansas City. There he developed his rhythm and tone while playing or recording with nearly everyone on the jazz and blues scene. ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Tyson Ailshie

Read "Take Five With Tyson Ailshie" reviewed by Tyson Ailshie

Meet Tyson Ailshie: Tyson Ailshie hails from Denver, Colorado, where he writes and performs straight-ahead jazz music in trio and duo settings as a group leader. Combining original compositions with deep grooves and intimate settings of eclectic jazz standards, he is beginning to make a name for himself in the Denver area, having performed most recently ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Let's Give Thanks for the DVD

Read "Let's Give Thanks for the DVD" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As there isn't much to report--well, nothing, actually--about big bands this month, I'll use the space to say a few words in praise of the DVD. Yes, I know there aren't a whole lot of jazz DVDs on the market, especially big band videos, but there are a few, and I'm grateful for every one of ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Musical Talent Is (Now and Then) All in the Family

Read "Musical Talent Is (Now and Then) All in the Family" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The induction of almost the entire Marsalis family (father Ellis, piano, and sons Wynton, trumpet; Branford, saxophones; Delfeayo, trombone; and Jason, drums) set me to thinking about how musical talent sometimes runs in families. In the pop world, almost everyone knows about the Jacksons, the Kings, the Osmonds and others. The same is true in jazz, ...