Autor: Jack Bowers

Cory Weeds and the Jeff Hamilton Trio: Dreamsville

Even though the substance and framework of jazz are constantly changing and evolving, the music’s bedrock–marked by spontaneity and free-wheeling swing–remains essentially unimpaired and secure. And when it comes to swinging, it’s hard to eclipse the irrepressible pulse of the tenor saxophone, an… Source: Album Reviews

Endemic Ensemble: Tangled

Notwithstanding a name that sounds like it could be contagious, the Endemic Ensemble is actually a commendable Seattle-based post-bop quintet whose second recording, Tangled, is packed to the brim with luminous melodies, splendid charts and engaging solos by all hands. While nominally a co-op group… Source: Album …

Millennium Jazz Orchestra: Lookin' East

The Netherlands, with a population less than that of New York State, is home to no less than four of the world’s most accomplished jazz ensembles–the Metropole Orchestra, the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, the Ebony Big Band and the Millennium Jazz Orchestra whose latest album, Lookin’ East… …

Jim Casey: Miles Goes Wes

Here’s a straightforward album with a rather intriguing title –Miles Goes Wes, Texas-bred guitarist Jim Casey’s unassuming homage to a pair of jazz icons, Messrs Davis and Montgomery. While the session lays heavy emphasis from end to end on funky backbeats and assertive percussion, Casey strives to…  …

KMJO: Common Ground

KMJO is shorthand for the m: Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra, and Common Ground is the third recording by the splendid Toronto-based group, following the well-received Deep Shadows (2011) and Family Suite for Large Ensemble (2012). This time around, the orchestra performs compositions by Ma… Source: Album Reviews

Chelsea McBride's Socialist Night School: The Twilight Fall

As is the case with her largely anomalous music, composer / arranger m: Chelsea McBride‘s Toronto-based Socialist Night School is less a brick-and-mortar academy than a malleable concept, open to almost whatever definition the viewer (or listener) has in mind. McBride doesn’t simply “wri… Source: Album Reviews

Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra: Invitation

Here’s how to make sure a five-star big-band album receives a four-star review: assemble a group of the finest musicians within a stone’s throw or two of the chosen locale, place them in a recording studio, hand them superlative charts to read –then add vocals. In this case …

The University of Toronto 12tet: Trillium Falls

This is an altogether sunny and pleasing session by the splendid University of Toronto 12tet, which sounds at times like a full-fledged big band, at others like a leaner and more even-tempered chamber jazz group. The songs and arrangements, most by members of the ensemble (including a couple …

University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra: Sweet Ruby Suite

“The Music of m: Kenny Wheeler Featuring m: Norma Winstone and m: Dave Liebman” is the subtext of this new (March 2016) recording by the first-rate University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra, more than half of which is devoted to Wheeler’s picturesque “Sweet Ruby Suite… Source: Album Reviews

The Milwaukee Jazz Orchestra: Welcome to Swingsville!

Even as the likelihood of big-band success keeps shrinking, there are those who willingly laugh at the odds and stay true to their heart, which insists that they keep on swinging even when common sense says they would be better off pursuing other musical avenues. They can be …