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Bebop Spoken There

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13,508 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 926 of them this year alone and, so far, 90 this month (July 27).

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

CD Review: SNJO - American Adventure

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra led by Tommy Smith + Mike Stern (gtr); Kurt Elling (vcl); Joe Locke (vbs); Donny McCaslin (fl/ten); Dacid Kikoski (pno); David Liebman (sop); Randy Brecker (tpt); Bill Evans (ten); Michael Dease (tmb); Joel Frahm (ten); Clarence Penn (dms).
(Review by Lance).
Another blockbuster from our friends north of the border recorded in New York last year as part of their USA/Canada tour. Augmented on different tracks by the above artists it is no surprise that this is a big band disc to check out. The arrangements are imaginative. Penned by an assortment of writers including Smith, Fred Sturm, Geoffrey Keezer, Jacob Mann and Jim McNeely, they show the power and scope of the orchestra to its best advantage in a contemporary setting unlike the fayre we're accustomed to hearing from them (Kenton, Ellington etc.)
My only minor misgiving is that, apart from Alyn Cosker (drums) and 16 bars tenor from leader Smith, we don't get to hear from the many great soloists within the band - Quigley, Pattison, Wiszniewski, Kellock to name but four. However, this is a small price to pay for what we do get which is knock-out performances by eleven of New York's finest!
My CD of 2013 was the band's In The Spirit of Duke (to be performed live at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival in April). American Adventure could well be my 2014 choice!
The CD, American Adventure by the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra is due to be released on February 17 by Spartacus Records.
Lance.

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