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Michael Formanek’s Ensemble Kolossus: The Distance

Read "The Distance" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Here's a surprise. Bassist Michael Formanek is probably best known for his two recent ECM Records dates, Rub and Spare Change (2010) and Small Places, a couple of modernistic quartet sessions featuring saxophonist Tim Berne, pianist Craig Taborn and drummer Gerald Cleaver. These are tight and intense sets, architecturally solid, free-like outings that may have helped ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Formanek’s Ensemble Kolossus: The Distance

Read "The Distance" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Jazz composers writing for large ensembles have often avoided the label “big band," going back to the Jazz Composer's Orchestra in the '60s, not to mention Sun Ra's Arkestra and the many Swing Era bands that called themselves orchestras. It's an understandable choice, given the unavoidable--and potentially limiting--stylistic associations that come with the big band name. ...