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ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Rick Lawn: The Evolution of Big Band Sounds in America

Read "Rick Lawn: The Evolution of Big Band Sounds in America" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

From the latter part of the Jazz Age through the Swing Era, big bands dominated the jazz scene and a large part of the entertainment industry. After World War II, their fortunes declined, but their music soared to new heights, spurred on by innovative leaders, instrumentalists, and very importantly, the composers/arrangers who worked behind the scenes ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Howard University Jazz Ensemble: HUJE 2018

Read "HUJE 2018" reviewed by Jack Bowers

One sure sign of spring is the arrival of the latest yearly recording by the superb Howard University Jazz Ensemble, a tradition that dates without pause from the days of vinyl in 1976, one year after the ensemble was formed by its first and only music director, Fred Irby III. For archivists and numbers-crunchers, that's forty-four ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine: Tasty Tunes

Read "Tasty Tunes" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Tasty Tunes is the fifth CD by Ira B. Liss' stalwart San Diego-based Jazz Machine, which was formed almost forty years ago, in 1979--a span that, when reckoned in big-band years, is much closer to a century or more. While other bands have come and gone the Jazz Machine has adamantly stayed the course, presenting dynamic ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Howard University Jazz Ensemble: Beatrice

Read "Beatrice" reviewed by Jack Bowers

One sure sign of spring is the arrival of the latest studio recording by the always exemplary Howard University Jazz Ensemble, a tradition that dates to 1976, one year after Fred Irby III (who remains its first and only music director) founded the Washington, DC-based ensemble. Unlike most of these enterprises, which are labeled HUJE followed ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Howard University Jazz Ensemble: HUJE 2015

Read "HUJE 2015" reviewed by Jack Bowers

In 1975, Howard University, a bulwark of higher education in our nation's capital since 1867, formed its first Jazz Ensemble and named a young trumpeter / educator, Fred Irby III, as director. One year later, Irby ushered the ensemble into a recording studio to verify its prowess, a tradition that has continued uninterrupted for forty years. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Howard University Jazz Ensemble: HUJE 2014

Read "HUJE 2014" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Another year, another splendid album by the exemplary Howard University Jazz Ensemble from Washington, DC. Not that that should surprise anyone; Fred Irby III, who is completing his fortieth year as the band's first and only director, has ushered his students into a recording studio for the last thirty-nine of them, dating back to the days ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Ira B. Liss: It's About Time

Read "Ira B. Liss: It's About Time" reviewed by Jack Bowers

So are there any first-rate big bands worth hearing in California outside of the Los Angeles area? So happy you asked. As a matter of fact, San Diego is solidly entrenched in that position thanks to the superb Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine which, coincidentally, has recorded a spectacular new album, It's About Time. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Howard University Jazz Ensemble: Journey of a Friend

Read "Journey of a Friend" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Although the Howard University Jazz Ensemble isn't quite as dependable as a morning sunrise, it has been present and accounted for in a recording studio once each year since it was formed in 1976 by Fred Irby III, who not only directed that first session but has supervised every one since, right up to No. 37, ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND CARAVAN

Kris Berg & the Metroplexity Big Band / Michael Treni Big Band / Millennium Jazz Orchestra

Read "Kris Berg & the Metroplexity Big Band / Michael Treni Big Band / Millennium Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Kris Berg & the Metroplexity Big BandThis Time / Last YearMAMA Records2012 Until now, bassist / educator Kris Berg, who oversees the Jazz Studies program at Collin College near Dallas, TX, has been widely known and respected as someone who writes and arranges songs for others to play. ...


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