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The spirit of John Coltrane shines brightly through the UMO Jazz Orchestra.
The UMO Jazz orchestra made their Naxos Jazz debut among the first six releases from the new label in 1998 with their self-titled disc ( UMO Orchestra, Naxos Jazz 86010). The orchestra performed a bright progressive type of big band jazz that listeners have come to expect of European, specifically Scandinavian, orchestras. UMO has never been frightened away from a pricklier repertoire and they take John Coltrane nuggets like "Equinox" (on their first recording) and "Naima" (from this new one) and breathe big life into them, recasting them almost classically. The Mongo Santamaria vehicle "Afro Blue" (also with threads to Coltrane) is given a bright reading with superb brass tonality. The original material follows in vein as the standards. The UMO Orchestra continues to be a worth addition to any big band library.