Romances, a new release from Summit Records' Education Division, prominently features the music of bandleader Maria Schneider, premiering the Three Romances commissioned of the composer by the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band. In addition to the aforementioned suite, the disc opens with Ms. Schnieder’s 1985 composition "Lately," featuring solos by bassist Dennis Marks, guitarist Jon Kreisberg, and trombonist Dante Luciani. The swing is easy and the horn charts lush and exact, in keeping with Schneider’s Ellington-influenced sense of swing.
Big band music of this ilk is orchestral by nature. It is not strictly blues-motivated, as was much of Ellington or Basie’s music. The majority of recent big band (all post-Kenton) compositions have been of colors and shades. While the idea of swing is present, it is not mandatory for the music, as this type of composition is more about shadows and light rather than motion or kinesis. Horace Silver’s "Gregory is Here" exemplifies this with respect to its score being complex and demanding for performance but not for listening. While not completely digested, this music is immediately appealing.
Ms. Schneider’s Three Romances are beautifully composed and rendered here by the big band. The first Romance, "Choro Dancado," is Brazilian in personality and features Mark Rose’s tenor saxophone and James Gasior’s piano. There is a heady soundtrack quality of the piece, a quality of celebration and honor. The Second Romance, "Pas De Deux," takes on a French patois, more introspective and impressionistic than the previous. Peter Clagett’s trumpet is highlighted, as is Kevin Russell’s refined soprano saxophone. "Dance Ilusoria" returns to the Latin realm as a foxtrot that waxes and wanes over the trains of a Portuguese melody. A fine big band offering, this time Stateside.
Lately; Gregory is Here; Invitation; Divisi; Squiggle; Three Romances.
The University of Miami Concert Jazz Band.
| Year Released: 2004
| Record Label: Unknown label
FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.