All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

307

Shapes: The Big Picture

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
By Ted Kane

The Big Picture is the second album from pianist/vibraphonist Roger Burn's protean Shapes ensemble. Like their debut, 2003's The Last Farewell, this set features original compositions from not only Burn but also other members, including harmonica player Tollak Ollestad and guitarists Mike Higgins and Matthew Von Doran. This release is a two-CD affair, and Shapes use the additional time to include their arrangements of several standards. The resultant experience is similar to that of seeing the band play a couple of sets at Spaghettini or the Baked Potato on a given night—the big picture of the band and its mix of contemporary and classic jazz.

Jimmy Haslip is again behind the booth, and occasionally on the other side of it as well. Also on hand are some of his colleagues from the Yellowjackets, including Russell Ferrante, whose turns at various keys allows Burn to shine at marimba on "Eat the Heat" and on vibraphone in several places, as well as Jackets alumnus Robben Ford, who—well, who contributes by being Ford. His introduction to the group's reading of "Naima" is simply beautiful, and Ollestad's arrangement of the tune itself is canny and effective, eschewing the seemingly inevitable bossa nova for a light reggae rhythm that probably sounds a lot better on disc than it looks on paper. And his chromatic harmonica here and elsewhere is a defining element of the group's sound.

The Big Picture is an ambitious effort from a band that seems incapable of giving any other kind. Shapes is a interesting band; though the exact lineup of players and their exact instrumentation is somewhat fluid from track to track, the group nonetheless manages to establish a unique identity. Their sound is contemporary, but still rooted in straight-ahead jazz.


Track Listing: CD1: Arc of Twilight, Naima, The Big Picture, Gabriela, Eat the Heat, Lobster, Measure Once, Sotto Voce. CD2: Softly As in a Morning Sunrise, Love for Sale, In the Outdoors, I Didn't Know What Time It Was, Automat, I Still Remember, What Now?

Personnel: Tollak Ollestad--chromatic harmonica, keys, background vocals; roger Burn--keys, vibraphone; Larry Steen, Dean Taba--bass, Jimmy Haslip; various others...

Title: The Big Picture | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Burnin' Down the House Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Big Picture

The Big Picture

Burnin' Down the House Records
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Music in Motian CD/LP/Track Review
Music in Motian
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Descansado - Songs For Films CD/LP/Track Review
Descansado - Songs For Films
by John Ephland
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Simbiose CD/LP/Track Review
Simbiose
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 18, 2018
Read For Lew CD/LP/Track Review
For Lew
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 18, 2018
Read "Man No Longer Me" CD/LP/Track Review Man No Longer Me
by Matt Hooke
Published: December 25, 2017
Read "For Those About To Jazz / Rock We Salute You" CD/LP/Track Review For Those About To Jazz / Rock We Salute You
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Alcanza" CD/LP/Track Review Alcanza
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 14, 2017
Read "Alive In The House Of Saints Part 1" CD/LP/Track Review Alive In The House Of Saints Part 1
by John Sharpe
Published: December 24, 2017
Read "I Am A Man" CD/LP/Track Review I Am A Man
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 27, 2017
Read "Honey And Salt" CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 27, 2017