Focus:  Large Ensemble and Big Band

Air Date 2/21/2021

Top Photo: The Uptown Jazz Tentet
I was never much of a big band guy. Sure, I'm always happy to dance swing to the old time sounds of Glenn Miller, or maybe a nice foxtrot to Sinatra/Riddle. But for just listening, big band music never really did it for me. Until now. 

So what's the difference? It's what these big bands and large ensembles are doing with their arrangements. These are not your father's big bands! 
Take the Uptown Jazz Tentet, for example. While they give the nod to the masters on their debut CD What's Next, as with Duke Ellington's In a Sentimental Mood, they also play the music of  Wayne Shorter, Milt Jackson, and Kenny Barron. Sometimes the band sounds like a bebop quintet, sometimes it sounds like a traditional big band - although with ten instruments instead of the usual 15-20. There are a lot of tracks on this CD to like.

Or how about the latest CD Bucket List from the Jim Waller Big Band? His arrangement of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is perhaps more akin to the original that was written for Paul Whiteman's twenty-three piece Palais Royal Orchestra in 1924, than to the familiar arrangement so common today that uses a full symphony orchestra. 
On the next edition of the Sunday Jazz Brunch, you'll hear these two bands plus quite a few others that are actively producing superb jazz for large ensembles.These ensembles bring together great playing as well as exciting arrangements:
Andrew Neu's latest CD Catwalk brings a smooth jazz instrumentalist into the big band fold, with interesting results. Mr. Neu will join me on 2/28 to talk about this CD and to give us some insights into the people who make big band music.
Phil Friedman
Some of the large ensembles in the show are new as of this edition of the SJB, such as the David Angel Jazz Ensemble and the Vinnie Riccitelli Octet. Also new are projects from Wayne Alpern,  Yulia Musayelyan, Reza Khan, and Zoe Scott.

Also, I would like to draw your attention to Brazil/World hour, where I feature the popular bossa nova Meditação (Meditation) done two different ways: as a vocal by Carmen Cuesta, and then as an instrumental by the great Charlie Byrd. 
By the way, it was my dad who introduced me to Charlie Byrd. Although he generally loved classical music as his number one, he also liked certain kinds of jazz, which would be the kind played by folks like Mr. Byrd. 
It is a beautiful song done by two masters of the bossa nova. I hope you enjoy it.
Thanks for tuning in to the Sunday Jazz Brunch.

HOUR ONE: Contemplative Morning

  1. Wayne Alpern-Jukebox-06 Borodin On Broadway-2020
  2. Broadbent/Mancio-Songbook-4. Cherry Tree 2015
  3. Alan Pasqua-Day Dream-01 Day Dream-2020
  4. Lee Ritenour-dreamcatcher-10 low and slow-2020
  5. The Brazilian Trio-Aguas Brasileiras-05 Aninha-2020
  6. Zoe Scott\Shades of Love\09 My Cherie Amour 2021
  7. Joe Carter-Two for Two-05 Ligia 2001
  8. Kandace Springs-The Women Who Raised Me-08 Solitude-2020
  9. Jeff Ellwood\The Sounds Around The House\Provence 2020
  10. Tom Ranier\This Way\Trio Vision 2020
  11. Dianne Reeves-That Day-04 Just A Little Lovin' 1997

HOUR TWO: New For You - Big Band and Large Ensemble

  1. Uptown Jazz Tentet-What's Next-04 Change-2020
  2. Vinnie Riccitelli Octet\For the Record\Flugelsville 2021
  3. Andrew Neu Big Band-Catwalk-My Dear-2019
  4. Wayne Alpern-Jukebox-Beauty And The Beast 2020
  5. Sinne Eeg & The Danish Radio Big Band-We've Just Begun-10 To a New Day-2020
  6. Phil Norman Tentet-Encore-03 Bernie's Tune 2011
  7. David Angel Jazz Ensemble\Out on the Coast\Deep 2 2021
  8. Uptown Jazz Tentet-What's Next-01 Uptown Bass Hit-2020
  9. Jim Waller Big Band\Bucket List\Rhapsody in Blue 2020
  10. The 14 Jazz Orchestra-The Future Ain't What It Used To Be-05 Dance Cadaverous 2018
  11. Jim Waller Big Band\Bucket List\06 Waltz For Laura 2020

HOUR THREE: Brazil/World

  1. The Brazilian Trio-Aguas Brasileiras-01 Maucha Na Praia-2020
  2. Yulia Musayelyan\Oblivion\05 Como Dos Extraños 2021
  3. Zoe Scott\Shades of Love\Wave 2021
  4. Hendrik Meurkens-Harmonicus Rex-04 Afternoon 2016
  5. Wendy Luck-See You In Rio-05 Why Did I Choose You 2006
  6. Gabriel Espinosa-From Yucatan to Rio-07 Azul y Negro 2009
  7. Miguel De Leon\Malandro\07 Reencontro 2020
  8. Carol Bach-Y-Rita-Minha Casa , My House-01 Morning Coffee 2016
  9. Carmen Cuesta-Mi Bossa Nova-11 Meditaçao 2010
  10. Charlie Byrd-Bossa Nova Pelos Passaros-03 Meditação (Meditation) 1963
  11. Chico Pinheiro-There's A Storm Inside-11 Valsa Nº 8-2010
  12. Ray Obiedo-Carousel-07 Lujon 2019

HOUR FOUR: Groove, Baby

  1. Andrew Neu\Inspire\09 Mystic Days 2000
  2. Reza Khan\Imaginary Road\Somewhere East 2021
  3. Chris Standring\Real Life\02-out-of-the-blue-M 2020
  4. David Sanborn-Time And The River-03 Drift 2015
  5. Earl Klugh-Peculiar Situation-01 Peculiar Situation 1999
  6. Eric Darius ,-Retro Forward-07-Never
  7. Eric Marienthal & Chuck Loeb-Bridges-01 Westward (2015)
  8. Euge Groove\Sing My Song\Until Tomorrow 2020
  9. Fourplay-Silver-08 Precious Metal (2015)
  10. The Sax Pack-Power of 3-08 When Morning Comes 2015
  11. Antonio Faraò-Eklektik-03 I Send to You 2017
  12. Andrew Neu\In Clear View\In Clear View 2019



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