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Smile

Label: Planet Arts Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Smile; Cucumber Slumber; Hip-Hug-Her; Ode To Billie Joe; First Time On A Ferris Wheel; Dance of the Coal Cars; Mad Dog; Rainbow Connection; I’ve Got To Use My Imagination; Theme From Law and Order; This City Never Sleeps; Smile

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Bill Warfield and the Hell's Kitchen Funk Orchestra: Smile

Read "Smile" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Having no idea what to expect from an ensemble labeled the Hell's Kitchen Funk Orchestra, the game plan must be to advance with caution, as any orchestra with trumpeter Bill Warfield at the helm can't be all bad. After listening, it becomes clear that the game plan was sound and the premise accurate: Smile, the HKFO's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra: Along for the Ride

Read "Along for the Ride" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On the third album as leader of his superlative New York-based Jazz Orchestra, trombonist Pete McGuinness proves again that he is one of the more astute and resourceful composer / arrangers on the scene today. From “Put on a Happy Face" through “One for the Maestro," McGuinness' impressive charts are decorous models of warmth and perception. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Brett Gold New York Jazz Orchestra: Dreaming Big

Read "Dreaming Big" reviewed by Jack Bowers

What's that you say? A New York-based Jazz Orchestra as admirable as this one whose recording debut was delayed for more than twenty-five years? There ought to be a law! Well, in this case it wasn't the law but a lawyer who sidetracked the orchestra's debut for so many years. His name is Brett Gold, and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John Tropea: Gotcha Rhythm Right Here

Read "Gotcha Rhythm Right Here" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Although thirty-one musicians are listed, guitarist John Tropea's latest recording isn't strictly a big-band album, as the sidemen perform on assorted tracks in groups whose size varies from five to twelve. Tropea is always present, of course, as is his friend and fellow composer / arranger Chris Palmaro on the Hammond B3 organ or Fender Rhodes ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dave Liebman Big Band: A Tribute to Wayne Shorter

Read "A Tribute to Wayne Shorter" reviewed by Jack Bowers

In a career spanning almost half a century, soprano saxophonist Dave Liebman has appeared on more than five hundred recordings including seventy as leader of various groups. His latest, A Tribute to Wayne Shorter by the Dave Liebman Big Band, may well be the best one yet. Why? Because every single component, from choice of material ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Bill Warfield Big Band: Trumpet Story

Read "Trumpet Story" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Trumpeters Bill Warfield and Randy Brecker have been friends for twenty years; it's high time they joined forces in a recording studio and began making beautiful music together. On Trumpet Story, Warfield's big-band homage to trumpeters and other musicians who have influenced him through the years, six-time Grammy Award winner Brecker solos on eight of ten ...

Never Too Late

Label: NY Jam
Released: 2002

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dave Riekenberg: Never Too Late

Read "Never Too Late" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Another well-upholstered album of contemporary straight-ahead Jazz that gives absolutely no cause for complaint but fewer reasons than one might expect to become excited. Its title, Never Too Late, is an appropriate metaphor for tenor Dave Riekenberg's long-overdue debut as leader of his own quartet after years on the road with Woody Herman's orchestra and Blood, ...


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