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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Rich Willey: Down & Dirty

Read "Down & Dirty" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Back in 2001, trumpeter/composer/educator Rich Willey released a critically acclaimed album titled Gone with the Piggies (CAP Records). As a result, a savvy audience has followed him cult-like ever since. With Down and Dirty, the former Maynard Ferguson standout delivers a bacchanalia presentation both as player and composer, surrounded by a unit of Los Angeles' finest ...

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: BIG BAND REPORT

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 2-4

Read "Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 2-4" reviewed by Simon Pilbrow

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival “Woodchoppers' Ball"
Four Points by Sheraton at LAX
Los Angeles, CA
May 23-27, 2018

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Concert 4: Keen and Peachy: Music of the Woody Herman Second Herd -Directed by Michael Berkowitz ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Stan Bann: Penmanship

Read "Penmanship" reviewed by Jack Bowers

To those who know him, it's no secret that Stan Bann is partial to the trombone. After all, the Minnesota-based composer / arranger plays one himself, leads Stan Bann's Big Bone Band and is a mainstay as writer and performer with the Minneapolis Trombone Choir. And as if that weren't a large enough clue, Bann welcomes ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Nebraska Jazz Orchestra: NJO 40

Read "NJO 40" reviewed by Jack Bowers

NJO 40, the latest CD by the superlative Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, salutes the NJO's first forty years by presenting a series of in-concert recordings taped between 2010-15 whose roster of guest soloists on Tracks 1-10 reads like a who's who of renowned jazz artists from coast to coast. Tack on exemplary charts by Tom Kubis, Eric ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill Cunliffe: BACHanalia

Read "BACHanalia" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As the title denotes, pianist Bill Cunliffe and his ensemble take a swing (literally) at the great Johann Sebastian on BACHanalia, pivoting as well toward the music of C.P.E. Bach, Sergei Prokofiev, Manuel de Falla, Cole Porter, Oscar Levant and Cunliffe himself. In spite of its classical veneer, this is at its core a jazz session, ...

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

Polly Gibbons: Is It Me...?

Read "Is It Me...?" reviewed by Edward Blanco

British songstress Polly Gibbons made her U.S. debut back in 2015 with the well received and seriously-acclaimed Many Faces of Love (Resonance, 2015), and now presents the highly-anticipated and swinging Is It Me...? . Touching on some R&B, pop-styled songs as well as including music from The Great American Songbook, this is one musical experience that ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Allen Carter Big Band: Time on My Hands

Read "Time on My Hands" reviewed by Jack Bowers

In 2010, composer / arranger / drummer Allen Carter seemingly appeared from out of nowhere (North Dakota, actually) to record Gifts, his first album as a big-band leader and one of the more impressive anthologies in that or any other year. As 2016 passed its midpoint and moved inexorably toward a final bow, Carter decided the ...