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Musician

Darrell Katz

Born:

Director of the Jazz Composers Alliance, helped to found the organization after being impressed by the success of other composers collective groups. Originally from Topeka, Kansas, Katz has lived in the Boston area since 1975. Katz has synthesized a wide range of influences including modern classical, folk/blues traditions, and the entire jazz legacy into a mature and personal compositional style which has marked him as "one of Boston's most ambitious and provocative jazz composers" (the Boston Phoenix). This is exemplified, for instance, in his "Variations On A Theme By Jimi Hendrix, combined with his arrangement of "Manic Depression," which been described as "celebrating the night that Jimi Hendrix and Igor Stravinsky got into a fight while having dinner at Duke Ellington's house." More recently he has been exploring the relationship of text and music, in a series of collaborations with poet Paula Tatarunis, culminating in the release his improvisational cantata, The Death Of Simone Weil, which features vocalist Rebecca Shrimpton. "There's an impressive variety of textures, colors, and rhythm in all of the JCA's collaborations, but it's never attempted anything like Katz's Simone Weil," writes the Boston Phoenix's Jon Garelick, who picked the album as one of the top 10 releases of 2003, "This work is eerie and moving, and even swinging." He appears regularly with the JCA Orchestra, the JCA Sax Quartet, and sometimes with his own group, The Darrell Katz Dreamland Orchestra. The JCA, formed in 1985, has presented such major Jazz Composer/Performers as Julius Hemphill, Fred Ho, Dave Holland, Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Davis, Henry Threadgill, Maria Schneider, Tim Berne, and Sam Rivers. Katz's music can be heard on the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra CD's, FLUX, which also feature Julius Hemphill and Sam Rivers, Dreamland, The Death Of Simone Weil, In Thru & Out and Celebration Of The Spirit

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Old Jazz, New Jazz, Obscure Jazz

Read "Old Jazz, New Jazz, Obscure Jazz" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


This show features a combination of newer jazz releases, older classic artists and a few obscurities. Music is heard from, among others, Julie Driscoll (Tippetts), Arturo O'Farrill, Eric Alexander, Joe Rosenberg, Betty Carter and the Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I Can't Wait Till I Get Home" from The ...

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Article: Album Review

Darrell Katz & OddSong: Galeanthropolgy

Read "Galeanthropolgy" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


OddSong is a chamber ensemble led by composer Darrell Katz, and distilled from the membership of the larger JCA Orchestra. It features vibraphone, violin, saxophones and voice, on music which veers between art songs and bluesy sax-led jazz tunes. Most of Katz's original compositions on this album feature poems by his late wife, poet Paula Tatarunis, ...

Album

Galeanthropolgy

Label: JCA Recordings
Released: 2021
Track listing: Flotsametrics; Guiding Narrative; Women Talking; Outta Horn; Galeanthropology; I am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger; Sweet Baby James; Duke Ellington's Sound Of Love; Belly Button Window; Error Status; The Red Blues; I've Got It Bad and that Ain't Good; Microtonal/Dirty Water; New Prayer.

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Article: Album Review

The JCA Orchestra: Live At The BPC

Read "Live At The BPC" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


The JCA Orchestra has been an important part of the Boston jazz scene since it formed in 1985. Several of its recordings are dominated by the compositions of its leader, Darrell Katz, but this live concert from the Berklee Performance Center features works by several orchestra members other than Katz and gives a fuller picture of ...

Article: Album Review

Darrell Katz: Rats Live on No Evil Star

Read "Rats Live on No Evil Star" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


La bostoniana Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra è un ampio organico diretto da Darrell Katz e composto da musicisti legati a vario titolo con il New England Conservatory e il Berklee College of Music. Nei suoi trent'anni di attività ha pubblicato una decina di album caratterizzati dal coniugare entro forme compositive complesse e rigorose (con molti ...

Album

Rats Live on No Evil Star

Label: JCA Recordings
Released: 2018
Track listing: Rats Live On No Evil Star; How To Clean a Sewer: Three Or Four Kinds Of Blues / Winndfall Lemons / Attention; To An Angel; Prelude / Hiro Runs The Devil Down; The Red Dog Blues; Red Sea.

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Article: Year in Review

Jerome Wilson's Best Releases Of 2018

Read "Jerome Wilson's Best Releases Of 2018" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


It may be unwieldy to keep a large jazz ensemble together for economic reasons but this year was still full of outstanding big band recordings, whether done through commissions, arrangers working with established orchestras or even actual working ensembles. Several of the releases on my list are examples of that. Also this year had the usual ...

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Article: Album Review

Darrell Katz and the JCA Orchestra: Rats Live on No Evil Star

Read "Rats Live on No Evil Star" reviewed by Jack Bowers


It's a pretty sure bet that appraising any album whose title is also a palindrome isn't going to be a stroll in the park, even more so when the orchestra in question is the Jazz Composers Alliance (rule of thumb: the longer the name, the more abstruse the music) and the instrumentation includes voice, marimba, EWI, ...

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Article: Album Review

Darrell Katz and the JCA Orchestra: Rats Live on No Evil Star

Read "Rats Live on No Evil Star" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Listening to Darrell Katz's music, it boggles the mind that he is not celebrated as one of the best jazz composers-arrangers around. He has been creating ambitious and accessible works full of humor, social conscience and creativity for decades in the Boston area with the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra and other groups, yet you rarely hear ...


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