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Musician

Metropolitan Jazz Octet

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The Metropolitan Jazz Octet (MJO) is the reawakening of a group that started in the 1950’s by Chicago saxophonist and arranger Tom Hilliard. 

From 1950 through mid-'80s Hilliard wrote many of the octets compositions. He worked with Chicago’s top arrangers and studio musicians expanding the library to 150-plus charts. In 1959 MJO recorded an album on the Argo label called “The Legend of Bix,” a tribute to 1920's great cornetist and composer Bix Beiderbecke. 

As a professor at De Paul University School of Music, Hilliard taught three current members of MJO to whom he bequeathed his complete library, passing the torch to the next generation. 

Album

The Bowie Project

Label: Origin Records
Released: 2023
Track listing: Slow Burn; 5:15 The Angels Have Gone; Changes; Letter to Hermione; Space Oddity; Let’s Dance; Stay; Quicksand; I Would Be Your Slave; Conversation Piece; Life on Mars?.

5

News: Recording

For Your Grammy Consideration: The Metropolitan Jazz Octet and vocalist Paul Marinaro presents: 'The Bowie Project'

For Your Grammy Consideration: The Metropolitan Jazz Octet and vocalist Paul Marinaro presents: 'The Bowie Project'

In the vast landscape of musical reinventions, few dare to juxtapose the realm of rock royalty with the intricate artistry of jazz. But the Metropolitan Jazz Octet (MJO), known for its innovative 'chamber jazz' brilliance, has undertaken such an endeavor with their album, The Bowie Project, released on January 16, 2023, on the Origin Records imprint. ...

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Article: Album Review

Metropolitan Jazz Octet: The Bowie Project

Read "The Bowie Project" reviewed by Paul Reynolds


A tribute to a pop artist by jazz musicians--as with the new David Bowie album by Chicago's Metropolitan Jazz Octet--has to tread a careful line. It obviously won't--can't--be a rote reproduction of the originals, a flaw that sinks many pop-to-pop tributes. Yet it needs to translate the songs into jazz--its harmonic sophistication, especially--in a way that ...

Album

The Road To Your Place

Label: Jazz Artists Resource
Released: 2020
Track listing: Green Cheese Blues; Shakin' Loose; Come Sunday; Lady Bird; Quandry; Fancy That; Shadow Puppets; Andy's Tune 1.0; It Might As Well Be Spring; The Road To Your Place; Andy's Tune 2.0.


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