Archive for the ‘ Big Band ’ Category

Andrew Neu – Catwalk

Catwalk+CD+CoverBy blending a unique mix of jazz, R&B, classical and Latin music, Andrew Neu is one of the most exciting, multi-genre musicians today. He is well respected throughout the industry for his work as a saxophonist, woodwind player, arranger, composer, educator and Billboard charting recording artist.

After releasing four contemporary jazz CDs, 2018 marked the debut of Andrew’s big band jazz CD, “Catwalk,” recorded in Los Angeles. It features all of Andrew’s arrangements and soloists Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Gordon Goodwin and Eric Marienthal. He was the conductor and arranger for Bobby Caldwell’s CD, “After Dark”, conducting members of the Airmen of Note. Bernie Dresel has recorded 6 of Andrew’s charts with his big band.

Andrew began conducting the jazz ensemble at Swarthmore College in 2014. In high demand as a clinician, he has led clinics in high schools, colleges and jazz camps throughout California, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Japan. He’s conducted the jazz program at Lower Merion High School since 1999 leading the band on four tours of Italy.

Buy the album here.

Angela O’Neill and the Outrageous8 – Light At The End Of The Tunnel

LightAtTheEndOfTheTunnelAmerican singer Angela O’Neill is always swinging and founded the octet Outrageous8 in 2015. That band consists of top studio musicians, who really know what swing is.

This is also their third release, which shows them in an adventurous, ambitious mood after 2 years of isolation due to Covid-19. The members of Outrageous8 are all veterans of the Los Angeles jazz and big band scene.

O’Neill says she wanted to capture the pent-up emotions and frustrations of the pandemic on this album. The title refers to the recordings of the music in the garden of singer Al Timss. That music and the vaccinations were the green light to be optimistic about the future.

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The DIVA Jazz Orchestra Swings Broadway

divaswingsbroadwayTwenty-nine years ago, the American Diva Jazz Orchestra performed for the first time. Since then they have appeared on various stages nationally and internationally, such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Newport Jazz Festival, Dizzy’s Club, Symphony Halls in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Cleveland, and at the Hollywood Bowl.

International that became hotel Le Meridien in Paris, France; Teatro de Sistina in Rome; Berlin Jazz Festival; Salzburg Music Festival; Bern Jazz Festival; Montreal and Ottawa International Jazz Festivals; Bogota International Jazz Festival; Jamaica Jazz Festival; Zagreb Jazz Festival; and the Pori Jazz Festival in Finland.

Diva was founded by Stanley Kay, once a drummer with Buddy Rich. Now led by drummer Sherrie Maricle, the 15 musicians from New York bring original contemporary and mainstream big band music. Diva has also starred with Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Diane Schuur, Carmen Bradford, Marlena Shaw, DeeDee Bridgewater, Rosemary Clooney, Ann Hampton Callaway, Jack Jones, Clark Terry, Dr. Billy Taylor, Terry Gibbs, Tommy Newsom, Dave Brubeck.

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Scott Silbert Big Band – Jump Children

scott20silbert20big20band20jump20childrenA musician who plays various wind instruments, Scott Silbert was born in Philadelphia, PA and was the arranger for the US Navy Band. He retired in January 2017. He has been playing music since his family moved to Orlando, Florida and worked as a musician for 9 years at Walt Disney World.

In 1991 he joined The Navy Commodores on baritone sax. He currently plays sax with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, where he is also the arranger.

Scott has performed or recorded with National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, W.C. Handy Jazz Festival, Elkhart Jazz Festival, Natalie Cole, Kurt Elling, Stanley Turrentine, Rosemary Clooney, Bob Hope, Howard University, Red Skelton, Quincy Jones, The Smothers Brothers, Vanessa Williams, Terry Gibbs, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Scott Hamilton, Chris Botti, Wayne Brady, Gloria Estefan, Johnny Mathis, The 5th Dimension, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Eddie Daniels, Michael Feinstein, Take 6, John Pizzarelli, Bill Crow, Lew Tabackin, Phil Woods, Hubert Laws, Christine Ebersole.

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David Benoit – A Midnight Rendezvous

AMidnightRendezvousAfter a musical career spanning more than 40 years, pianist and composer David Benoit can rightfully be called a legend. He has always eluded stylistic classification, yet his works circle between contemporary jazz, smooth jazz and jazz. Thus, his new album A Midnight Rendevous, which will be released on February 18, 2022 on Shanachie Entertainment, also offers a colorful bouquet of melodies of different styles.

The album is one of those rare today, which with concentrated manpower, implement his musical ideas. Details of the musicians involved in the recording can be found in the credits. To top it all off, the album closes with three recordings made with a big band under Benoit’s direction.

The theme of the midnight hour has already occupied Benoit with his famous album and song Freedom At Midnight (1987) and has not let him go since. Thus, tying in with this, he opens his album with the title A Midnight Rendezvous. Berry Gordy, legendary founder of Motown Records loved jazz, smooth harmonies, pretty melodies: “When I heard the song, I clapped my hands and thought: My Goodness!” In effect David Benoit has written such a hit with this new song, that immediately puts you under its spell.

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Dino & Franco Piana Ensemble – Open Spaces

Dino and Franco Piana founded the formation Dino & Franco Piana Ensemble. Dino is the father of Franco, both are living and working in Rome. Since more than 10  years they are working with AlfaMusic and have already released three albums on this label. As Dino and Franco Piana Sextet they released Seven in 2012, followed by Seasons (2015) and Open Spaces (2020).

One can classify their style as progressive Big Band sound and by reading the credits one quickly recognizes that the brass element plays a major role in their music. Spiritus rector of this formation is Franco Piana, who also wrote all the compositions for the new album.

The structure of the album is reminiscent of classical works, although musically there are no references to classical music. The title project splits into four sections, Opening and Variations I-III. The first intonation suggests an opening in the usual Big Band style. Dino’s trombone, Franco’s flugelhorn and Lorenzo Corsi’s flute alternate in small solo interludes before the full harmonic unison of all instruments spreads pleasant goose bumps.

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U-Nam – U-Nam Goes Big Band The Remixes

In conjunction with Skytown Records, and with all profits going to the fight against COVID-19, and to COVID-19 relief charities, jazz guitarist and Billboard chart-topper U-Nam is creating a four track ‘EP’ of remixes from his ‘U-Nam Goes Big Band’ recording. ‘U-Nam Goes Big Band’ is a sumptuous eleven track rendering of sophisticated mood jazz and since its release on March 27 has made a fabulous start in both the Jazz and Smooth Jazz Radio Charts. On its first week it became most added on Jazzweek while the first single, ‘Dance’ was most added on the US Billboard Smooth Jazz National Airplay chart.
A second single, ‘Each Day A Gift’ featuring vocalist and UK X-Factor first winner Steve Brookstein is slated for imminent release while the remix project shines a dazzling spotlight on the creativity that has long been U-Nam’s calling card.

Take for example his ‘Nu-Orleans’ remix of ‘In the Blink of an Eye’ for which he adds a whole load of zest and guarantees to set feet tapping everywhere. Not only that, the expansive Latin flavoured ‘Miami Remix’ of ‘The One’ is perhaps an even greater hip swayer than the album original while another track with a decidedly Latin disposition is the wonderful ‘The World to Me’ that U-Nam embellishes with his own special brand of ‘Electro Swing’.

The extended player’s only vocal number is the appropriately named ‘From Estonia with Love’ remix of the vibrant ‘The Dance Must Go On’ which would fit perfectly on any James Bond soundtrack. Mixing elements of hip-hop and R&B with a distinctly Cab Calloway vibe, U-Nam also makes full use of wah wah trumpet from Christian Martinez to build an inspirational platform for Susanna Aleksandra’s smoky vocals. Make no mistake, and picking up on the James Bond theme, this is a track that will leave the listener both shaken and stirred.

There are only a few established artists capable of taking a genre busting U-turn to reinvent themselves with a project such as ‘U-Nam Goes Big Band’. U-Nam is certainly one of them.

U-Nam – U-Nam Goes Big Band

Guitarist U-Nam is commonly known for his skillful reinterpretation of the style of George Benson and Nile Rodgers, which runs through many of his albums. His recourse to the funky music of the 70s and 80s is also popular. But with his new album U-Nam Goes Big Band (2020) he now falls back on the traditional big band music as known from Duke Ellington or Glen Miller.

The album is based on a collaboration between U-Nam and the Lutz Krajenski Big Band. The band leader Lutz Krajenski has already performed with Tom Jones, Ulrich Tukur, Roachford, Inga Rumpf, Udo Jürgens, Randy Crawford, Jasmin Tabatabai, Mousse T and more. One can therefore speak of a pronounced tendency towards popular music, which has been translated into the language of jazz.

U-Nam performs on this album lead and whawha guitar, Lutz “Hammond” Krajenski acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes keyboards and band leader, Thorten Benkenstein, Phillip Kacza & Nicolas Boysen trumpet and flugelhorn, Gunter Bollmann & Andreas Barkhoff trombone, Sebastian Hoffmann bass trombone, Bjorne Berger & Fiete Felsh alto sax, Gabriel Coburger & Ben Kraef tenor sax, Bjorne Berger, Fiete Felsh, Gabriel Coburger & Edgar Herzog flute, Bjorne Berger clarinet, Edgar Herzog bass clarinet,  and baritone sax, Sandra Hempel rhythm guitar, Peter Gall drums, Herve Jeanne double bass & electric bass, Rainer V. Egestoff mouth harp & vibes, Ricardo Padilla & Denis Benarrosh percussion,  Susanna Aleksandra & Steve Brookstein vocals.

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U-Nam – U-Nam Goes Big Band

There are only a few established artists who are capable of reinventing themselves and jazz guitarist and Billboard chart-topper U-Nam is certainly one of them. As if to prove it he will release the genre busting “U-Nam Goes Big Band”, 03/27/2020, on the Skytown Records label.

Coming off the back of a scintillating 2019 that saw him enjoy huge chart success with his 2 sensational albums “Future Love Parts 1 and 2” (that reached #20 on the Top25 Billboard Jazz Best Selling Album Chart and #8 in the Contemporary Jazz category) this is an exciting new direction for U-Nam to take but, with nine Top30 Billboard radio hits already to his name and an approach recognised as always innovative and often daring, his reputation for shaking the musical world to its core is already firmly in place.

“U-Nam Goes Big Band”, a sumptuous eleven track rendering of sophisticated mood jazz, is made even more enticing by the amazing back-story that first put it on U-Nam’s radar. A phone call to his Los Angeles studio from Estonian producer Mikk Targo is all it took. Targo, CEO and Founder of the Estonian Author Society EAU had, for the past several years, been working with a panel of music industry experts to select from what was generally regarded as the best one hundred songs Estonia has ever produced. As they did so a body of work emerged that was not only a glimpse into the nation’s musical heritage but also an outstanding showcase for the renowned Lutz Krajenski Big Band. Continue reading

Big Boy Brass – Breaking The Buskers Code

Big Boy Brass is an eight-piece brass band from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They play energetic jazz based brass band music, that pulls inspiration from many of the brass bands that came before them as well as rock, pop, and funk influences. Adding variety to their shows, Big Boy Brass can often be found with different instrumentation, depending on the event and venue.

The band first got their start during the summer of 2016, playing on the street corners of Lancaster, PA. Big Boy Brass had the opportunity to play every Sunday on the roof top of Tellus 360, and the bands music grew from there.

Buy the album from their website.