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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

Stan Kenton Orchestra / BYU Synthesis Big Band: A Kenton Celebration

Read "A Kenton Celebration" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Fasten your seat belts, Kenton fans. Just when you feared the once-overflowing wellspring of material from the Stan Kenton Orchestra's archives may have run dry, along comes Tantara Productions with this jet-propelled and emphatically pleasurable two-disc set, the first half of which reclaims a long-lost concert date recorded in February 1959 at Brigham Young University, a ...

Pointing Fingers... And Naming Names

Read "Pointing Fingers... And Naming Names" reviewed by Jack Bowers

As the countdown continues toward the last Big Band Report in June, the time has come to point fingers and name names--in other words, to compile a short list of contemporary jazz musicians who have risen above the norm to help make life more pleasurable for one devoted listener. These are, mind you, personal choices, and ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Did Stan Kenton Swing? You Bet Your Walkin' Shoes He Did...

Read "Did Stan Kenton Swing? You Bet Your Walkin' Shoes He Did..." reviewed by Jack Bowers

I've been listening to a lot of Stan Kenton's music recently while coming to grips with the age-old question, did the Kenton orchestra really swing? The answer, to me, is a no-brainer: Yes, Kenton swung. Liberally and often. [Note: This of course depends on how “swinging" is defined; opinions may vary]. In his own way--although he'd ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND CARAVAN

Skelton Skinner All Stars / Clare Fischer Big Band / Ron Carter's Great Big Band

Read "Skelton Skinner All Stars / Clare Fischer Big Band / Ron Carter's Great Big Band" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Skelton Skinner Allstars Big Band

Cookin' with the Lid On

Diving Duck Records

2012

Back in the late 1950s, vibraphonist Terry Gibbs (with some help from his friends) put together an ensemble that became known as the Terry Gibbs Dream Band, took up residence in Hollywood and began blowing audiences ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

SuperSax Me

Read "SuperSax Me" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Back in the early 1970s bassist Buddy Clark and saxophonist Med Flory conceived a brilliant idea: to form a group (primarily a reed section with rhythm) that would use orchestrated arrangements of saxophonist Charlie Parker's transcendent bop solos as the basis for its music. As for a name, nothing less than SuperSax would suffice. The nine-piece ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND CARAVAN

Stan Kenton-NOVA Jazz Orchestra / Baker's Dozen Big Band / Danny D'Imperio and the Bloviators

Read "Stan Kenton-NOVA Jazz Orchestra / Baker's Dozen Big Band / Danny D'Imperio and the Bloviators" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Stan Kenton Orchestra / NOVA Jazz Orchestra

Double Feature, Vol. 2

Tantara Productions

2012

One of the more difficult aspects of reviewing Tantara's series of impressive salutes to Stan Kenton and his music is knowing where to begin. As on Volume 1 of the label's Double Feature (with Volume 3 ...

Phil Woods / Stan Kenton / The Les Hooper Band

Read "Phil Woods / Stan Kenton / The Les Hooper Band" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Phil Woods / DePaul University Jazz Ensemble
Solitude
Jazzed Media
2010

Not to underplay the title, but Solitude, from alto saxophone master Phil Woods and the splendid DePaul University Jazz Ensemble, embodies far more than the sort of serenity it implies. In fact, Woods is as animated and ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Strike Up the (Unsung) Bands

Read "Strike Up  the (Unsung) Bands" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The big band era is known for producing a number of enormously successful ensembles whose leaders were household names: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Jimmie Lunceford, Fletcher Henderson, then on through Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, the brothers Jimmy Dorsey and Tommy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet, Artie Shaw, Harry James, Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and, ...

Jack Nimitz: Baritone-in-Chief

Read "Jack Nimitz: Baritone-in-Chief" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Baritone saxophonist Jack Nimitz died June 10, 2009 at his home in Studio City, California. He was 79 years old. That's hardly headline news except to a relative handful of jazz enthusiasts who were privileged to hear and appreciate his consummate artistry over the span of more than half a century when Nimitz was at the ...