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Musician

Chris McDonald

Album

A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas!

Label: Constant Dreamer Records
Released: 2017
Track listing: Joy to the World; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; Here We Come A-Wassailing; Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; Let There Be Peace on Earth; Good Christian Men, Rejoice; What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?; The Holly and the Ivy and the Bones; Angels We Have Heard on High; Deck the Halls; The First Noel.

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Article: Album Review

Chris McDonald: A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas!

Read "A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas!" reviewed by Jack Bowers


A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas! is at least the tenth holiday album recorded by the peerless arranger Chris McDonald's impressive Jazz Orchestra--but the first one whose title has been amplified by an exclamation mark. Could it be that this one is extra-special? That's hard to say, as the albums that preceded it have all been remarkably ...

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Article: Album Review

Jeff Coffin with Caleb Chapman's Crescent Super Band: The Inside of the Outside

Read "The Inside of the Outside" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The first time woodwind artist Jeff Coffin heard Caleb Chapman's Crescent Super Band, he was greatly impressed--so much so that he decided to record an album with the band. You may be impressed too, especially upon learning that the Super Band, which sounds for all the world like a professional (or advanced university) ensemble, is actually ...

Album

No Pews Required: Chris McDonald Jazz Orchestra

Label: Constant Dreamer Records
Released: 2014
Track listing: Will the Circle Be Unbroken?; Battle Hymn; Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child; Fairest Lord Jesus; Little Brown Church in the Bayou; What the World Needs Now; Gimme Dat!; Go Down, Moses; Were You There?; Crown Him; Holy, Holy, Holy.

Album

No Pews Required

Label: Constant Dreamer Records
Released: 2014
Track listing: Will the Circle Be Unbroken?; Battle Hymn; Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child; Fairest Lord Jesus; Little Brown Church in the Bayou; What the World Needs Now; Gimme Dat!; Go Down, Moses; Were You There?; Crown Him; Holy, Holy, Holy.

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Article: Extended Analysis

No Pews Required: Chris McDonald Jazz Orchestra

Read "No Pews Required: Chris McDonald Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by Jack Bowers


A glance at the name and song titles on Chris McDonald's new album might lead to an assumption that this is a Christian manifesto masquerading as big-band jazz, when in fact the reverse is true--McDonald, a superlative arranger, happens to be a man of faith who uses Christian themes as the basis for some of the ...

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Article: Extended Analysis

The Rob Parton Big Band: Christmas Time Is Here

Read "The Rob Parton Big Band: Christmas Time Is Here" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The only plausible impetus for releasing an album of Christmas themes so close to the holiday itself is the inclusion of music that transcends the season and may be auditioned and appreciated throughout the year. Trombonist Chris McDonald accomplished that with his splendid album In the Mood for Christmas, and trumpeter Rob Parton has mirrored that ...

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Article: Album Review

The Chris McDonald Orchestra: Big Band Classics / Big Band Favorites

Read "Big Band Classics / Big Band Favorites" reviewed by Jack Bowers


These are the third and fourth albums recorded for Green Hill Music by Chris McDonald, one of the finest big–band arrangers you’ve never heard. But unlike the other two ( Big Band Hymns, Big Band Christmas, reviewed in November), there’s nothing special about them. Nothing new either. After all, the world hasn’t exactly been holding its ...


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