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ARTICLE: NEW YORK BEAT

John Pizzarelli Soars at Birdland

Read "John Pizzarelli Soars at Birdland" reviewed by Nick Catalano

Wowing a late night crowd of worshipful fans at a packed Birdland, John Pizzarelli showcased his guitar mastery, vocal excitement, and hilarious patter this past Saturday night. Accompanied by his Swing Seven band of jazz all-stars, the scion of the famed New Jersey Pizzarelli clan (guitarist father Bucky will celebrate his 90th birthday this week at ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

National Jazz Ensemble: Featuring Gerry Mulligan

Read "Featuring Gerry Mulligan" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Any new CD whose cover proclaims “Featuring Gerry Mulligan" is guaranteed to turn heads, raise antennae and whip up interest. This one, on which Mulligan performs with the then-three-year-old National Jazz Ensemble, was recorded February 19, 1977, in a sold-out auditorium at the New School in New York City. In his liner notes, trumpeter David Berger ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

UMO Jazz Orchestra with Michael Brecker: Live in Helsinki 1995

Read "Live in Helsinki 1995" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If your fondness for big-band jazz includes searching for hidden treasures, here's a recently uncovered gem that should more than gladden your spirit: a concert recording from 1995 by Finland's superb UMO Jazz Orchestra featuring the renowned tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker who left us far too soon a dozen years later at age fifty-seven. The impeccably ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Billy Mintz: The 2 Bass Band...Live

Read "The 2 Bass Band...Live" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Venerable first-call session artist and bandleader, Billy Mintz (Alan Broadbent Trio, Eddie Daniels Quartet) has logged years of productive time within the East and West Coast USA jazz communities. Calling New York home since 2001, he formed the 2 Bass Band, which is a unit that performs at many of the well-known Manhattan venues, but surprisingly, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

J.C. Sanford Orchestra: Views from the Inside

Read "Views from the Inside" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As John Cleese used to intone on the groundbreaking Monty Python television series, ." . .and now for something completely different." Brooklyn-based composer / arranger J.C. Sanford's Views from the Inside are unlike any that more scrupulous big bands would choose to envision. That is not to say they are any less valid, only unique. It ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Asuka Kakitani Jazz Orchestra: Bloom

Read "Asuka Kakitani Jazz Orchestra: Bloom" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The difference between a “big band" and an “orchestra" in jazz is usually more than nominal in nature. On the surface, they may seem the same, but their intent, musical scope and arranging/compositional methodology are usually very different. While it can be seen as a bit of a generalization, the “band" tag often refers to groups ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

The JC Sanford Orchestra At Tea Lounge: Sound Matters

Read "The JC Sanford Orchestra At Tea Lounge: Sound Matters" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

JC Sanford Orchestra
Tea Lounge
Brooklyn, NY
September 20, 2010

While Manhattan gets most of the ink when it comes to live jazz in New York, it isn't the only borough where exciting things are happening. Over the past few years, Brooklyn has become a hub of activity for creative music artistry and ...