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Don Ellis

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Before his untimely death in 1978 at the young age of 44, Don Ellis was one of the most creative and innovative jazz musicians of all time. In a career span of less than 25 years, Don Ellis distinguished himself as a trumpeter, drummer, composer, arranger, recording artist, author, music critic, and music educator. However, Don Ellis is probably best remembered for his work as a big band leader. His orchestra, which was active from 1966-78, achieved enormous popular appeal at a time when the influence of big band music was noticeably fading. Ellis's significance lies in his use of groundbreaking musical techniques and devices, new to the world of jazz

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Size Matters: (Mostly New) Jazz for Big Bands and Orchestras, Part 2

Read "Size Matters: (Mostly New) Jazz for Big Bands and Orchestras, Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


As we continue our journey in the recent work of some of the most compelling jazz orchestras and big bands of today, and a few from the past that were so ahead of their time that their music still sounds fresh. [Click here to listen to the part 1]. Happy listening! PlaylistBen ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Don Ellis, Joe Williams & Ira B. Liss

Read "Don Ellis, Joe Williams & Ira B. Liss" reviewed by Joe Dimino


The heat of summer has Neon Jazz thinking about big bands and orchestras. For the 705th show on June 16, we start off with big band leader Ira B. Liss and the Big Band Jazz Machine with a cut from his 2020 release Mazel Tov Kocktail. We also hear from a sextet with Joseph Herbst off ...

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News: Music Industry

The MPS Records legacy resumes with vinyl releases of Ella Fitzgerald’s 'Sunshine Of Your Love' and Freddie Hubbard’s'The Hub of Hubbard'

The MPS Records legacy resumes with vinyl releases of Ella Fitzgerald’s 'Sunshine Of Your Love' and Freddie Hubbard’s'The Hub of Hubbard'

Jazz history was forged in the rustic Black Forest of Germany in 1968 when Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer launched MPS Records and recorded some of the genre’s seminal artists. Legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, The Count Basie Orchestra and George Duke released albums on the prestigious label known for its ...

Article: Album Review

Vanessa Perica Orchestra: Love is a Temporary Madness

Read "Love is a Temporary Madness" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Da Melbourne ci giunge quest'impressionante debutto orchestrale di Vanessa Perica, bandleader e compositrice che guida una formazione con i migliori jazzmen australiani di nuova generazione. Anche se geograficamente distante dal nostro emisfero, il jazz prodotto in Australia e Nuova Zelanda ha sempre mantenuto connessioni con le tendenze e le espressioni nate negli Stati ...

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Article: Interview

Vince Mendoza: Streams of Influence Flowing into a River of Sound

Read "Vince Mendoza: Streams of Influence Flowing into a River of Sound" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Vince Mendoza is a jazz composer, arranger, and conductor of consummate originality, skill, and adaptability, so much so that he has for several decades received frequent invitations and commissions from the whole gamut of ensembles and performers like the WDR Big Band, the Metropole Orkest in the Netherlands, the Los Angeles and Berlin Philharmonic, and the ...

Article: Album Review

Adam Meckler: Magnificent Madness

Read "Magnificent Madness" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Non so se Minneapolis è considerata “provincia" nel vasto territorio statunitense (nel campo del jazz certamente si, rispetto ai poli storici di New York, Los Angeles e Chicago) ma spesso dalla provincia giungono alte prove di creatività. Il trombettista, educatore e bandleader Adam Meckler deve ancora trovare ampi riconoscimenti ma il suo debutto orchestrale del 2014 ...

Article: Album Review

The CCM Jazz Orchestra feat. Steven Bernstein: Nobody Does It Better

Read "Nobody Does It Better" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Anni fa Steven Bernstein pubblicò un frizzante album con le musiche di John Barry scritte per i film su James Bond (Sex Mob Does Bond, Ropeadope 2001). Ora quegli arrangiamenti acquistano nuova vita nella riscrittura per grande orchestra propiziata da Scott Belck, direttore musicale della CCM Jazz Orchestra, big band del Cincinnati College of Music.

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Article: Album Review

John Beasley: Monk'estra, Vol. 2

Read "Monk'estra, Vol. 2" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Dopo il primo volume (Monk'estra vol.1, Mack Avenue 2016), John Beasley amplia l'organico e invita nuovi ospiti per un'altra rivisitazione del pianeta Monk. Galvanizzato dalle ottime accoglienze del debutto, il bandleader presenta nuovi estrosi arrangiamenti dal classico songbook del pianista. In effetti il vocabolario orchestrale monkiano è quasi tutto da costruire se si eccettuano i progetti ...

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Article: Interview

A dialogo con Roberto Ottaviano

Read "A dialogo con Roberto Ottaviano" reviewed by Neri Pollastri


Poliedrico quanto a collaborazioni ed esplorazioni di aree stilistiche, sempre rigorosissimo nel modo di affrontare qualsiasi situazione musicale, ritenuto dalla critica uno dei maggiori interpreti del sassofono jazz in Europa, Roberto Ottaviano è prossimo a compiere sessant'anni, essendo nato a Bari nel dicembre del '57. E lo fa presentando un ennesimo lavoro di altissimo livello, altro ...


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