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Matt Harris

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Article: Album Review

The Rodger Fox Big Band: Plays New Zealand

Read "Plays New Zealand" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Although trombonist Rodger Fox has somehow managed to keep New Zealand's finest big band alive and swinging for more than four decades, the band has never devoted an entire album to music written and arranged by New Zealanders--until now. That's not to say that Fox and the band have ignored music from their home country. Over ...

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Article: Album Review

New Zealand School of Music Big Band: Too Cool

Read "Too Cool" reviewed by Jack Bowers


While the latest CD by the splendid New Zealand School of Music Big Band may not be Too Cool, it's definitely chilly enough to demand that the average listener wear earmuffs while sampling its frigid yet at the same time fiery bill of fare. Blues got you down? A few bars of the orchestra's sunny curtain-raiser, ...

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Article: Album Review

Benny Bailey / Nashville Big Band: A Bird in the Hand

Read "A Bird in the Hand" reviewed by Jack Bowers


To accentuate the positive: A Bird in the Hand is Georgia-based drummer Ben Bailey's debut album as a big-band leader, and a splendid one it is, thanks to Bailey's ample talents and those of the Nashville Big Band. The recording arose from a chance meeting in 2011 when another well-known timekeeper, Duffy Jackson, traveled to from ...

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Article: Album Review

Rodger Fox Wellington Jazz Orchestra: The Capitol Sessions

Read "The Capitol Sessions" reviewed by Jack Bowers


In July 2012, trombonist Rodger Fox brought his Wellington Jazz Orchestra all the way from New Zealand to Los Angeles to record at the famed Capitol Studios, thus confirming Fox's confidence in the ensemble--one doesn't undertake a trip like that accompanied by musicians whose talents are less than exemplary--while producing an album that is superlative from ...

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five With Joseph David Howell

Read "Take Five With Joseph David Howell" reviewed by Joseph David Howell


Meet Joseph David Howell: Dr. Joseph D. Howell has gone from being a mostly self-taught musician from a poor small-town family to earning a Doctor of Musical Arts from a prestigious conservatory. Today he professionally performs, composes, and teaches music of many styles and instruments while maintaining an artistic focus on jazz clarinet and ...

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Article: Big Band Report

Swingin' on a Riff . . . Hangin' by a Thread?

Read "Swingin' on a Riff . . . Hangin' by a Thread?" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Betty and I returned to Albuquerque on Memorial Day after attending Swingin' on a Riff, the latest in a series of marvelous semi-annual events presented by Ken Poston and the Los Angeles Jazz Institute for more than twenty years at venues in and around L.A. This one was held May 23-26 at the Los Angeles Marriott ...

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Article: Big Band Report

"Modern Sounds," or: Running a Marathon in Full Body Armor

Read ""Modern Sounds," or: Running a Marathon in Full Body Armor" reviewed by Jack Bowers


From October 19-25 Betty and I were at the Los Angeles Marriott Airport Hotel to attend Modern Sounds, the L.A. Jazz Institute's four-day salute to West Coast jazz, followed by a day-long tribute to Stan Kenton on the hundredth anniversary of the legendary bandleader's birth. We arrived a day early to be primed and ready for ...


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