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ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

University of North Texas: Anniversary Package; Lab 2017

Read "Anniversary Package; Lab 2017" reviewed by Jack Bowers

To mark the seventieth anniversary of its establishment, the Division of Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas in Denton has issued superb CD compilations honoring four of its distinguished educators / bandleaders in addition to Lab 2017 by the university's flagship One O'Clock Lab Band, the fiftieth annual recording by that widely celebrated ensemble. ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The UNT One O'Clock Lab Band: Lab 2016

Read "Lab 2016" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The year ending in May 2016 was quite an eventful time for the University of North Texas' flagship One O'Clock Lab Band. Besides hosting regular concerts and clinics in Denton and the surrounding area and holding its three yearly performances in Fort Worth, the band welcomed acclaimed drummer Dennis Mackrel as guest artist for its fall ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Swiss Jazz Orchestra: Pools: Live at Jazzfestival Bern

Read "Pools: Live at Jazzfestival Bern" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As if a new CD by the superlative Swiss Jazz Orchestra weren't enough to start New Year 2016 on a high note, Pools presses home the considerable talents of the orchestra's special guests, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri and drummer Peter Erskine, in a dynamic performance taped live at the Hotel Innere Enge on April 10-11, 2015, as ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra: Prime Time

Read "Prime Time" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Composer / arranger Alan Baylock seems to have a penchant for time. Prime Time is the Baylock Jazz Orchestra's third album, following Two Seconds to Midnight (2003) and Eastern Standard Time (2008). This time (no pun intended), Baylock, who doubles as chief arranger for the U.S. Air Force's premier jazz ensemble, the Airmen of Note, has ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Ira B. Liss: It's About Time

Read "Ira B. Liss: It's About Time" reviewed by Jack Bowers

So are there any first-rate big bands worth hearing in California outside of the Los Angeles area? So happy you asked. As a matter of fact, San Diego is solidly entrenched in that position thanks to the superb Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine which, coincidentally, has recorded a spectacular new album, It's About Time. ...

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 ...

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 ...

Fred Hess Big Band / Timucua Jazz Orchestra / Michael Treni

Read "Fred Hess Big Band / Timucua Jazz Orchestra / Michael Treni" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Fred Hess Big Band
Hold On
Dazzle Records
2010

When listening to Hold On, composer / arranger / saxophonist Fred Hess' fourteenth album as leader but first in front of a big band, one question immediately arises: What took him so long? As it turns out, recording his ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra: Eastern Standard Time

Read "Eastern Standard Time" reviewed by Edward Blanco

A master in the art of arranging and composing jazz music, Alan Baylock, who holds the position of Chief Arranger for the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force, unveils another masterpiece with Eastern Standard Time, the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut, Two Seconds to Midnight (Sea Breeze Records, 2003). On this second ...