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ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble: On the Road

Read "On the Road" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble was indeed On the Road in recent years, performing the first eight of the fourteen numbers on this impressive album at the 2017 Elmhurst College (IL) Jazz Festival, the others at the Montreux and North Sea (Netherlands) Jazz Festivals in 2011. If you are puzzled by the lack of audience ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

UNI Jazz Band One: That Doesn't Even Look Like You

Read "That Doesn't Even Look Like You" reviewed by Jack Bowers

For more than two decades, the University of Northern Iowa's Jazz Band One has been recognized as one of the country's leading undergraduate ensembles, on a par with such outstanding programs as those at the Universities of North Texas, Miami, Northern Colorado, Cincinnati, North and South Florida and Wisconsin-Eau Claire, among others. That Doesn't Even Look ...

Rick Hirsch's Big Ol' Band: Pocono Git-Down

Read "Pocono Git-Down" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Even though the days of cross-country bus trips, one-night stands and regular appearances on radio and TV have long since vanished, big bands continue to dot the landscape on all corners of the map, from such large population hubs as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and others to cities and towns so small ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

University of Northern Iowa Jazz Band One 2014-15: Local Color

Read "Local Color" reviewed by Jack Bowers

In Local Color, the latest in a long series of splendid albums by the University of Northern Iowa's Jazz Band One, color is one of the primary ingredients; every number, in fact, is awash in radiant colors, from the prismatic opener, UNI alum Michael Conrad's “Gerry's Timepiece," to the chimerical closer, Curtis Fuller's dark-hued “The Egyptian." ...

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 ...

UNI Jazz Band: The Hard Way

Read "UNI Jazz Band: The Hard Way" reviewed by Jack Bowers

UNI stands for the University of Northern Iowa whose tradition of producing first-rate big-band recordings spans more than two decades, first under director Bob Washut and more recently under his successor, Chris Merz (The Hard Way is the twentieth album by the university's Jazz Band One in my library). This is a “semi-live" date on which ...

Nova Jazz Orchestra / Christian McBride Big Band / NYJO

Read "Nova Jazz Orchestra / Christian McBride Big Band / NYJO" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra

Who Sez You Can't Dance to Bebop?

Nova Jazz

2010

When last heard from, Minnesota's dauntless Nova Jazz Orchestra was performing alongside the legendary Stan Kenton Orchestra--well, not actually “alongside," but as part of the Tantara label's ongoing two-disc salute to Kenton, Double Feature, Vol. 2. ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND CARAVAN

Phil Kelly and the NW Prevailing Winds; Eric Essix and the Night Flight Big Band; University of North Texas Two O'Clock Lab Band

Read "Phil Kelly and the NW Prevailing Winds; Eric Essix and the Night Flight Big Band; University of North Texas Two O'Clock Lab Band" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Phil Kelly & the Northwest Prevailing Winds
Ballet of the Bouncing Beagles
Origin Records
2009

The Ballet of the Bouncing Beagles, Marius Nordal writes in the liner notes to composer / arranger Phil Kelly's latest recording, “was inspired by an actual photograph of Phil's two beagles jumping up in the ...

ARTICLE: PROFILES

Jazz Honors The Beatles

Read "Jazz Honors The Beatles" reviewed by Michael Ricci

When The Beatles first emerged at the forefront of The British Invasion, few could have predicted the impact they'd have beyond the world of rock and pop. Early albums, and songs like “Love Me Do," “She Loves You" and “I Want to Hold Your Hand," were hardly the grist for something more.

But by ...