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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 ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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 ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brian Eisenberg Jazz Orchestra: Sense of Gratitude

Read "Sense of Gratitude" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

L'orchestratore losangelino Brian Eisenberg debutta a capo della sua big band di 18 elementi presentando otto sue composizioni e un fresco arrangiamento di “Blackbird," il brano di Lennon e McCartney. Ha già ottenuto ottimi riconoscimenti (l'ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, una menzione al Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award, il John Philip Sousa Award, eccetera) ...

Sal Lozano: Everything's Gonna Be Great

Read "Everything's Gonna Be Great" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If you're looking for a superlative one-man saxophone section, better call Sal (Lozano). And if you need some dazzling charts to make that section shine, better phone Tom (Kubis, that is). After spending years as one of Southern California's leading sidemen, Sal Lozano has at last recorded an album under his own name, one on which ...

Time Check: A Paucity of Riches?

Read "Time Check: A Paucity of Riches?" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On May 18, Betty and I flew to Los Angeles to attend Time Check: A Buddy Rich Alumni Reunion, a four-day panorama sponsored by the L.A. Jazz Institute and held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, about a stone's throw or two from the LAX airport. We arrived early afternoon so we could also be present for ...