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John Macleod: The Toronto Sound

Read "The Toronto Sound" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Yes, this is Canada's John MacLeod and the Rex Hotel Orchestra. And yes, this is the ensemble's third CD, The Toronto Sound. But close your eyes and listen carefully and it modulates into no less than an earnest albeit clandestine homage to Rob McConnell and the peerless Boss Brass. Is that a good thing? Beyond any ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Buddy Rich: In a Zone of His Own

Read "Buddy Rich: In a Zone of His Own" reviewed by Jack Bowers

One of the channels that came with my Dish Network package is Classic Arts Showcase, which is a treasure trove of film clips documenting classical, ballet, folk, pop and other forms of music that one is unlikely to see anywhere else (although some footage is presumably available on YouTube, which more and more seems to encompass ...

The "Desert Island" Revisited

Read "The "Desert Island" Revisited" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Back in the last millennium, shortly after this column first saw the light of day, I posted a list of twenty “desert island" albums, those that would be snugly ensconced in a crash-proof, water-tight carrying case should yours truly ever be marooned on a miniature atoll with nothing to relieve the boredom save palm trees, coconuts, ...

Stan Kenton-UW Eau Claire / Kirk MacDonald Orchestra / Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

Read "Stan Kenton-UW Eau Claire / Kirk MacDonald Orchestra / Kansas City Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Stan Kenton Orchestra/UW-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble 1

Double Feature, Vol. 3

Tantara Productions

2012

Volume 3 in Tantara's ongoing two-CD series of Double Features, encompassing heretofore unissued music by the Stan Kenton Orchestra and guests, covers parts of five Kenton concerts spanning the years 1971-77 on Disc 1, and presents ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND CARAVAN

John MacLeod & His Rex Hotel Orchestra / Tim Davies Big Band / New England Jazz Ensemble

Read "John MacLeod & His Rex Hotel Orchestra / Tim Davies Big Band / New England Jazz Ensemble" reviewed by Jack Bowers

John MacLeod & His Rex Hotel Orchestra

Our First Set

Self Published

2010

Those who mourn the passing of the great trombonists Rob McConnell and Dave McMurdo and, with them, two of the most renowned big bands Canada has ever produced, should take substantial comfort from this superlative debut recording ...

Jack's Gone! No He Isn't; Yes He Is; No He Isn't...!

Read "Jack's Gone! No He Isn't; Yes He Is; No He Isn't...!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As I sat down to write this month's column, word came that trumpeter Jack Sheldon had died. No sooner had I written a few words about that when word came that trumpeter Jack Sheldon had not died. After some back-and-forth on the internet (is he or isn't he?), the last report, it seems, was the true ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND CARAVAN

DIVA Jazz Orchestra / Paul Read Orchestra / Andy Farber and His Orchestra

Read "DIVA Jazz Orchestra / Paul Read Orchestra / Andy Farber and His Orchestra" reviewed by Jack Bowers

DIVA Jazz Orchestra

Johnny Mandel: The Man and His Music

Arbors Jazz

2010

Note to NARAS members: please do not cast your vote for Best Big Band Album of 2011 without first having listened to Johnny Mandel: The Man and His Music, recorded in concert at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in Manhattan ...

Rob McConnell: Boss of Bosses

Read "Rob McConnell: Boss of Bosses" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Even though largely unknown to most of us south of the border, a number of world-class big bands have made their home in Canada over the years. For nearly three decades, however, there was one whose name and influence rose conspicuously above the others. That band was, of course, the incomparable Boss Brass, and the reason ...

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, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra: Canadian Composers Portraits: Phil Nimmons

Read "Canadian Composers Portraits: Phil Nimmons" reviewed by Jack Bowers

I don't know who conceived the idea for the Portraits series honoring Canadian composers, but it's a splendid one--even more so when the honoree is still vertical and swinging, as is the case with Phil Nimmons, who for more than half a century has been one of that country's most prolific and popular jazz musicians. This ...