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Don Sebesky

Don Sebesky is best known as house arranger for many of producer Creed Taylor's Verve, A&M, and CTI productions; the man whose orchestral backgrounds helped make artists like Wes Montgomery, Paul Desmond, Freddie Hubbard, and George Benson acceptable to audiences outside of jazz. He has taken critical heat for this, but Sebesky's arrangements have usually been among the classiest in his field, reflecting a solid knowledge of the orchestra, drawing variously from big band jazz, rock, ethnic music, classical music of all eras, and even the avant-garde for ideas. He once cited Bartok as his favorite composer, but one also hears lots of Stravinsky in his work. Sebesky started out professionally as a trombonist while still at the Manhattan School of Music, working with Kai Winding, Claude Thornhill, the Tommy Dorsey Band led by Warren Covington, Maynard Ferguson, and Stan Kenton

CTI Records: Ten Tasty Albums With No Added Sugar (Almost)

Read "CTI Records: Ten Tasty Albums  With No Added Sugar (Almost)" reviewed by Chris May

Few jazz producers divide opinion as much as Creed Taylor. He is a hero to many and a villain to as many more. His fans love him for his high production values. His detractors accuse him of dumbing jazz down with excessively sweetened orchestrations and other sales-oriented compromises. Nowhere is the dispute more heated than over ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Horizons Jazz Orchestra: Plays the Music of Lee Harris: The Brite Side

Read "Plays the Music of Lee Harris: The Brite Side" reviewed by Jack Bowers

One question that springs to mind when listening to The Brite Side, a tantalizing new CD by the South Florida-based Horizons Jazz Orchestra, is: who is Lee Harris? As it turns out, Harris was a composer, arranger and baritone saxophonist who teamed with trumpeter Dennis Noday a few years back to co-found an ensemble they named ...

ARTICLE: JAZZ GOES TO COLLEGE

University of the Arts “Z” Big Band: Jumpin’ at the Monterey Jazz Festival

Read "University of the Arts “Z” Big Band: Jumpin’ at the Monterey Jazz Festival" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Umiversity of the Arts “Z" Big Band Monterey Jazz Festival Monterey, CA September 17, 2017 [This article is a follow-up to the review of the “Z" Band Reception and Kickoff Concert in Philadelphia on September 7. If you want to know a little more about the band, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Milt Jackson: Sunflower / Goodbye

Read "Sunflower / Goodbye" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Even if vibes player Milt Jackson had just played with The Modern Jazz Quartet and not embarked on a solo career, his place in jazz history would be secure. However, Jackson was much more than a vital part of the famous chamber jazz group and he recorded a string of excellent albums, including three sessions as ...

ARTICLE: NEW YORK BEAT

John Pizzarelli Soars at Birdland

Read "John Pizzarelli Soars at Birdland" reviewed by Nick Catalano

Wowing a late night crowd of worshipful fans at a packed Birdland, John Pizzarelli showcased his guitar mastery, vocal excitement, and hilarious patter this past Saturday night. Accompanied by his Swing Seven band of jazz all-stars, the scion of the famed New Jersey Pizzarelli clan (guitarist father Bucky will celebrate his 90th birthday this week at ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Nels Cline: Lovers

Read "Lovers" reviewed by Luca Canini

Anche gli esploratori più coraggiosi e solitari hanno bisogno di una casa. Se non altro per il gusto di andarsene; e per il piacere, prima o poi, di tornarci. Un posto del cuore, al centro dell'anima. Uno spazio nel quale sentirsi completi, leggeri, liberi; teneramente imprigionati in quel groviglio di emozioni e suggestioni che sono il ...

I 10 CD nel CD-Player di... Marcos Varela

Read "I 10 CD nel CD-Player di... Marcos Varela" reviewed by Vincenzo Roggero

01. Kenny Barron -Book of Intuition (Impulse -2016). Adoro questo disco e questo trio che ho avuto la fortuna di sentire diverse volte dal vivo. Barron è uno dei miei pianisti preferiti sin da quando da giovane lo ascoltavo nei lavori di Stan Getz, nel suo disco Live at Bradley's e in duo con Charlie ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Spin Cycle, Co-Led By Drummer Scott Neumann & Saxophonist Tom Christensen, Releases Self-Titled Debut CD on May 6

Spin Cycle, Co-Led By Drummer Scott Neumann & Saxophonist Tom Christensen, Releases Self-Titled Debut CD on May 6

With its strong melodies, tight rhythms, intriguing textures, and sophisticated interplay, Spin Cycle has got everything covered. What makes the band special is how everything fits together—or, by intention, doesn’t. For listeners and band members alike, every tune is an adventure. Spin Cycle is the new quartet co-led by drummer Scott Neumann and tenor saxophonist Tom ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

BGO Records: Excellence in Jazz Reissues

Read "BGO Records: Excellence in Jazz Reissues" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

In the digital age we live in, there is no doubt that the business of reissuing music is booming. It has never been easier to get music, old and new, in digital or physical form. However, one thing is to re-release a record; another thing is to do it the right way. BGO Records, run by ...


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