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.
Learning Jazz gave me a masters degree in music. Jazz is American Classical Music, came
out of a need to be heard, to be understood, a voice when black America did not have one.
This is why the music is more than just an art form, it was created from blood, guts and heart
of those who suffered in this world. Its not to be taken lightly. If you do take it lightly it will
never sound right. Thank you to all the courageous musicians who made the world hear
them, their innovation came out of their experiences of the time that they lived. A treasure to
the world. American Classical Music. Imitate, Assimilate, Innovate a quote by Clark Terry.