Rhythm & Jazz March 1995 Vol. 2, No. 3


Q: I love the music you review in R&J every month. I also like more
traditional styles of jazz than you tend to cover. Aren't there any new
big band records you could recommend? - T. Langowski, New Orleans,

A: While we focus primarily on more contemporary and pop-oriented formats
of instrumental music in R&J, we also enjoy putting on a big band record
once in a while. We're sure you're familiar with the GRP All-Star Big
Band, which has gotten some of the biggest names of today's jazz scene,
namely the entire GRP artist lineup, together for an acclaimed studio
album and a live follow-up from Japan. The Brecker brothers, Arturo
Sandoval, Ramsey Lewis, Dave Grusin, Chick Corea and his former drummer
Dave Weckl, pop-jazzers Eric Marienthal and Nelson Rangell, Ernie Watts,
John Patitucci, and more, all playing hard and faithful to the big band
tradition under the direction of saxophonist Tom Scott. The interesting
twist of their third and most recent CD, ALL BLUES, is the big band
treatment of ten classics derived from various incarnations of blues.
B.B. King guests on "Stormy Monday Blues" and other selections include
Coltrane's "Some Other Blues", Monk's "Misterioso", Dizzy's "Birks
Works", Mingus' "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat", and of course the famous title
cut by Miles Davis. To relive more traditional Swing-era big band, try
James Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band's HOT CLUB STOMP: SMALL BAND SWING
(Discovery). A few hot originals plus classics of Benny Goodman, Cootie
Williams, Fats Waller, and the like. A big sound from this 8-piece
"small" band; it may be small on personnel, but it's big on pizzazz!
Call (800) 377-9620 for a free Discovery catalog.

We were also fortunate enough to find a splendid independent release from
a local artist right here in San Diego (where R&J is headquartered).
FIRST IMPRESSIONS by The Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine explodes on its
opening track, "Nice And Greazy", with blistering horn solos that are simply
outstanding. Horace Silver's "Nica's Dream", Peter Sprague's "The Elf", and many
other selections sizzle with excitement, swinging with authenticity, occasionally
becoming modernly aggressive.

Write to P.O. Box 16081 San Diego, CA 92176 for more info. And thanks for the question.

Shaina House