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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Andrew Neu: The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu

Read "The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu" reviewed by Jack Bowers

No matter where The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu has been hiding, it's a real kick and genuine pleasure to have it in plain sight and within earshot, especially as Neu has at his side a number of the Los Angeles area's most accomplished sidemen and no less than seven superlative guest artists who lend ...

A Big Band Spectacular? You Bet Your Brass!

Read "A Big Band Spectacular? You Bet Your Brass!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On May 23, Betty and I flew to jny: Los Angeles to attend the L.A. Jazz Institute's semi-annual ode to swinging, this one labeled Big Band Spectacular and slated for Thursday through Sunday, May 25-28. We rearranged our schedule to arrive a day early, even before Wednesday's “bonus" event, to attend the funeral of a longtime ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Doug MacDonald: Jazz Marathon 2

Read "Jazz Marathon 2" reviewed by Jack Bowers

For those who thought that guitarist Doug MacDonald's happy-go-lucky jazz marathon had crossed the finish line with the release more than a year ago of Just for Fun, the good news is that MacDonald and his talented teammates have found their second wind and the marathon continues through a second effervescent two-CD session taped at the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Doug MacDonald: Just for Fun

Read "Just for Fun" reviewed by Jack Bowers

While there are no household names on guitarist Doug MacDonald's new 2-CD set, Just for Fun (alto saxophonist Lanny Morgan or perhaps drummer Roy McCurdy may come closest), the sidemen he has chosen for a lively concert date billed as a “jazz marathon" are more than likely among the more accomplished jazz musicians you've seldom or ...

Time Check: A Paucity of Riches?

Read "Time Check: A Paucity of Riches?" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On May 18, Betty and I flew to Los Angeles to attend Time Check: A Buddy Rich Alumni Reunion, a four-day panorama sponsored by the L.A. Jazz Institute and held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, about a stone's throw or two from the LAX airport. We arrived early afternoon so we could also be present for ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Myles Wright: The LA EP

Read "The LA EP" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Composer / arranger Myles Wright deserves full credit for truth in advertising, as The LA EP is precisely that--an abbreviated CD with three selections whose playing time is roughly twenty-four minutes. On the other hand, Wright doubles the listener's pleasure by including with the album a well-produced Blu-Ray DVD (in black and white) so one can ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike Barone Big Band: La Fiesta

Read "La Fiesta" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Mike Barone has been writing outstanding big-band arrangements for more than half a century. After listening to La Fiesta, Barone's ninth album as leader of the Los Angeles-based Mike Barone Big Band (counting Live at Donte's, recorded back in 1968), the logical question arises: does Barone ever run short of resourceful ideas? To which the obvious ...

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 ...

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

In Tune or Not in Tune... That Is the Question

Read "In Tune or Not in Tune... That Is the Question" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Suppose a month goes by, you have a column to publish, but nothing has happened that's worth writing about. What do you do then? Read on, as the question is about to be answered.

A while back there was a discussion at a Stan Kenton web site (Kentonia) about musicians or groups of ...