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Simon Pilbrow with the Brent Fischer Orchestra: Colours of Sound

Read "Colours of Sound" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Given the unusual circumstances behind its inception, the album Colours of Sound probably never should have made it to a recording studio. The fact that it did is a happenstance for which every big-band lover and jazz enthusiast should be thankful. The odyssey began in 2011 when Australian composer / pianist Simon Pilbrow wrote a letter ...

Roger Kellaway Trio: New Standards Vol. 3

Read "New Standards Vol. 3" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Trumpeter Carl Saunders is best known for his contributions to jazz orchestras, having put his mighty horn to good use for Stan Kenton, Bill Holman, Maynard Ferguson, Benny Goodman, Gerald Wilson, and numerous other big band leaders of note over the past half-century. Yet his work as a composer may end up being his lasting legacy. ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Waldrop: Origin Suite

Read "Origin Suite" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Drummer / vibraphonist Michael Waldrop's intriguing Origin Suite (deftly arranged by Jack Cooper) sweeps away musical boundaries to make its points, one of which is that big-band jazz needn't be ensnared in a time warp but is capable of changing with the times to engender songs that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are thematically stylish. ...

ARTICLE: JAZZ GOES TO COLLEGE

University of the Arts “Z” Big Band: Jumpin’ at the Monterey Jazz Festival

Read "University of the Arts “Z” Big Band: Jumpin’ at the Monterey Jazz Festival" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Umiversity of the Arts “Z" Big Band
Monterey Jazz Festival
Monterey, CA
September 17, 2017

[This article is a follow-up to the review of the “Z" Band Reception and Kickoff Concert in Philadelphia on September 7. If you want to know a little more about the band, ...

The Phil Norman Tentet: Then and Now

Read "Then and Now" reviewed by Jack Bowers

There comes a time, usually during the fifth or sixth rendition of a “franchise" movie (think “Rocky" or “Star Trek"), when the phrase “enough is enough" inevitably springs to mind. While Then and Now, the seventh album by saxophonist Phil Norman's L.A.-based all-star Tentet, lands somewhere this side of overkill, its premise--to update and reintroduce classic ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival "Big Band Spectacular" 2017, Part 3-4

Read "Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival "Big Band Spectacular" 2017, Part 3-4" reviewed by Simon Pilbrow

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival Big Band Spectacular
LAX Westin Hotel
Los Angeles, CA
May 24-28, 2017

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Saddleback Jazz Combo

The young Saddleback five piece jazz combo featured a tenor and baritone sax ...

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: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Whitfield: New Jazz Standards, Volume 2

Read "New Jazz Standards, Volume 2" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On New Jazz Standards, Volume 2 (yes, the title may seem a tad optimistic at first glance; more about that later), trombonist Scott Whitfield leads a well-honed quartet playing the music of Carl Saunders. If the name Carl Saunders is new to you, he is quite simply one of the finest jazz trumpeters you've never heard--and ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band: Intenso!

Read "Intenso!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If nothing else, an exclamation point is meant to grab one's attention. What matters most, of course, is what precedes (or follows) said mark. On Intenso!, the latest album by the Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band, the music provides its own exclamation point, charging boldly forward as if to say, “Drop whatever you're doing and ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band: Intenso!

Read "Intenso!" reviewed by Roger Farbey

What better way to pay tribute to your father than, over the course of several years, painstakingly capturing his keyboard playing (and sometimes singing) and at a later date adding superb big band arrangements? Bandleader and keyboardist Clare Fischer died in 2012 aged 83 but left a legacy of work that his son, bandleader and bassist ...