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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Rich Willey's Boptism Big Band: Down & Dirty

Read "Down & Dirty" reviewed by Jack Bowers

What's in a name? While that maxim remains a matter for debate, don't let this particular name mislead you. In the parlance of trumpeter Rich Willey's Los Angeles-based Boptism Big Band, Down & Dirty translates into well-scrubbed & swinging. There's really no better way to describe the performance of eleven of Willey's wide-ranging compositions and one ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

University of Kentucky Mega-Sax Ensembles: Stinkin' 3.0

Read "Stinkin' 3.0" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If you dig the sound of a saxophone (alto, tenor and / or baritone), you've come to the right place. Unless we've miscounted, no less than nineteen saxophonists are present and accounted for on Stinkin' 3.0, which, it stands to reason, is the third CD recorded by the University of Kentucky's (well-named) Mega-Sax Ensembles. That includes ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tom Rizzo: Day and Night

Read "Day and Night" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The names in guitarist Tom Rizzo's starting lineup on Day and Night indicate that this is a West Coast-based group, an observation that is borne out in Rizzo's bio, which says he is “active [on] the Los Angeles music scene" and served as guitarist for the Tonight Show band when Jay Leno was at the helm, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Rodger Fox Big Band: Plays New Zealand

Read "Plays New Zealand" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Although trombonist Rodger Fox has somehow managed to keep New Zealand's finest big band alive and swinging for more than four decades, the band has never devoted an entire album to music written and arranged by New Zealanders--until now. That's not to say that Fox and the band have ignored music from their home country. Over ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

John Daversa Big Band at The Baked Potato

Read "John Daversa Big Band at The Baked Potato" reviewed by Paul Naser

John Daversa Big Band
The Baked Potato
Los Angeles, CA
May 29, 2016

It's a rarity to find a modern big band dedicated to playing original music in Los Angeles; home to some of the world's most talented musicians and entertainers, pretty much every style of music imaginable is represented here, ...

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: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Chris Walden Big Band: Full-On!

Read "Chris Walden Big Band: Full-On!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

To say that Chris Walden's instrumental compositions and arrangements are the best part of his new big-band album, Full-On!, is not to dismiss the rest as less than adequate. Walden's charts for the ensemble, on the other hand, do provide much of the excitement in a session that is otherwise dominated by vocals (seven in all), ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Chris Walden Big Band: Full-On!

Read "Full-On!" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

It's been a while since the jazz world has seen a release from this group. The first three albums credited to the Chris Walden Big Band--the Grammy-nominated Home Of My Heart (Origin Records, 2005), No Bounds (Origin Records, 2006), and Kurt Marti Suite (Origin Records, 2007)--came in quick succession. And then there was silence from Walden. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alan Chan: Shrimp Tale

Read "Shrimp Tale" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Big bands these days are being taken in many directions, one of which is eastward. Alan Chan, born and raised in Hong Kong and educated in part in the U.S. (at the universities of Miami and Southern California), has deftly blended Asian tradition with American jazz on Shrimp Tale, the splendid debut recording by his three-year-old ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Rodger Fox Wellington Jazz Orchestra: The Capitol Sessions

Read "The Capitol Sessions" reviewed by Jack Bowers

In July 2012, trombonist Rodger Fox brought his Wellington Jazz Orchestra all the way from New Zealand to Los Angeles to record at the famed Capitol Studios, thus confirming Fox's confidence in the ensemble--one doesn't undertake a trip like that accompanied by musicians whose talents are less than exemplary--while producing an album that is superlative from ...