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The Outtengrand Orchestra: The Outtengrand Orchestra Presents A Dangerously Groovy Christmas

C. Michael Bailey By

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Track review of "I Wonder as I Wander"

The Outtengrand Orchestra: The Outtengrand Orchestra Presents A Dangerously Groovy Christmas Bassist Norm Stockton has a lot of irons in the fire, both in the contemporary jazz and contemporary Christian music arenas. One such project, his Outtengrand Orchestra, released a finely crafted adult contemporary holiday offering in 2006, The Outtengrand Orchestra Presents A Dangerously Groovy Christmas. Contemporary jazz, made by the likes of The Rippingtons and Yellowjackets, is immensely popular among listeners who otherwise would not listen to a genre called "jazz." In the case of A Dangerously Groovy Christmas, this music rises well above the typical elevator variety to level of artistic and aesthetic accomplishment.

The Negro spiritual "I Wonder as I Wander," is transformed from an organic tome of seeking and clarity into a sophisticated musical vehicle with enhanced time signature and rhythm components propelled at the bottom by Stockton and drummer David Owens, and directed from the top by {{Keith Felch||'s plaintive and serpentine soprano saxophone.

Possessing a light Latin ambiance seasoned with piquant guitar filler, "I Wonder as I Wander" takes on a mobile, fluid quality conveying an effortless groove as at home with the melody as if it were composed that way, making The Outtengrand Orchestra's interpretation of this old piece both vital and interesting.

Personnel: Keith Felch: woodwinds; David Owens: drums, percussion; Rob Rinderer: piano & keyboards; Norm Stockton: basses; Brian Swerdfeger: guitars.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced

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