Maria Schneider Orchestra — Concert in the Garden — CD ArtistShare

by | Sep 9, 2005 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Maria Schneider Orchestra — Concert in the Garden CD ArtistShare0001 www.mariaschneider.com ****:

This CD was a Grammy this year and was the first-ever Grammy winner to
be available only on the Internet, via the ArtistShare organization. It
has also won numerous awards as the best large ensemble jazz album of
the year if not simply the best jazz album period. Naturally I had to
give it an ear.  Does it meet expectations?  You bet! This is
the sort of highly individual and deeply musical orchestral jazz that
such masters as Ellington, Mingus, Gil Evans, and Carla Bley (another
not-unpleasant-looking woman in jazz) have given us.

Born in Minnesota, Maria Schneider has performed, toured and recorded
in Europe so much that I must admit I had thought she was German. After
the Eastman School of Music she sought out Bob Brookmeyer to study jazz
composition, and at the same became an assistant to Gil Evans. (I tend
to automatically like any composer who comes out of that school.) The
five works on this disc are all ambitious composition of great density
but with an easily-grasped structure.  A quick look at their
titles will indicate that Schneider shares with Evans and others
(Gerald Wilson comes to mind) a fascination with the general area of
Spanish music.  In Schneider’s case the stimulus was hearing Paco
Lucia live, and flamenco is now her primary Latin music interest, as
heard in the closing selection, Buleria, Solea Y Rumba. The first of
her Three Romances has a Portuguese title because she feels her
imaginary foxtrot has a strong Brazilian feel to it.  Ballet was
the starting point for Pas de Deux, inspired by a photo of Schneider’s
favorite ballerina. All of these work were commissioned in advance,
demonstrating the high standing Schneider already had in the music
world. I don’t think even Ellington had such luxuries offered to him.

This is around a 20-piece band, with several guest performers. 
The member credits starts with multi-reed man Tim Ries, who is riding
high with his terrific Rolling Stones Project CD. The two or three
solos on each piece are identified by their performer and his axe —
very helpful in listening to the music. Pianist Frank Kimbrough, who
also records for MapleShade, is soloist on the first two. And
accordionist Gary Versace deserves special mention for his very
anti-lounge-lizard approach to the instrument.

If you dig really creative, original and exciting big band — this is it, man!  Only wish it were in surround!

Tracks: Concert in the Garden; Three Romances: Choro Dançado; Pas de deux; Dança Illusoria; Buleria, Solea Y Rumba.

 – John Henry  

Maria Schneider Orchestra — Concert in the Garden CD ArtistShare0001 ****:
www,mariaschneider.com

This CD was a Grammy this year and was the first-ever Grammy winner to
be available only on the Internet, via the ArtistShare organization. It
has also won numerous awards as the best large ensemble jazz album of
the year if not simply the best jazz album period. Naturally I had to
give it an ear.  Does it meet expectations?  You bet! This is
the sort of highly individual and deeply musical orchestral jazz that
such masters as Ellington, Mingus, Gil Evans, and Carla Bley (another
not-unpleasant-looking woman in jazz) have given us.

Born in Minnesota, Maria Schneider has performed, toured and recorded
in Europe so much that I must admit I had thought she was German. After
the Eastman School of Music she sought out Bob Brookmeyer to study jazz
composition, and at the same became an assistant to Gil Evans. (I tend
to automatically like any composer who comes out of that school.) The
five works on this disc are all ambitious composition of great density
but with an easily-grasped structure.  A quick look at their
titles will indicate that Schneider shares with Evans and others
(Gerald Wilson comes to mind) a fascination with the general area of
Spanish music.  In Schneider’s case the stimulus was hearing Paco
Lucia live, and flamenco is now her primary Latin music interest, as
heard in the closing selection, Buleria, Solea Y Rumba. The first of
her Three Romances has a Portuguese title because she feels her
imaginary foxtrot has a strong Brazilian feel to it.  Ballet was
the starting point for Pas de Deux, inspired by a photo of Schneider’s
favorite ballerina. All of these work were commissioned in advance,
demonstrating the high standing Schneider already had in the music
world. I don’t think even Ellington had such luxuries offered to him.

This is around a 20-piece band, with several guest performers. 
The member credits starts with multi-reed man Tim Ries, who is riding
high with his terrific Rolling Stones Project CD. The two or three
solos on each piece are identified by their performer and his axe —
very helpful in listening to the music. Pianist Frank Kimbrough, who
also records for MapleShade, is soloist on the first two. And
accordionist Gary Versace deserves special mention for his very
anti-lounge-lizard approach to the instrument.

If you dig really creative, original and exciting big band — this is it, man!  Only wish it were in surround!

Tracks: Concert in the Garden; Three Romances: Choro Dançado; Pas de deux; Dança Illusoria; Buleria, Solea Y Rumba.

 – John Henry 

Maria Schneider Orchestra — Concert in the Garden CD ArtistShare0001 ****:
www,mariaschneider.com

This CD was a Grammy this year and was the first-ever Grammy winner to
be available only on the Internet, via the ArtistShare organization. It
has also won numerous awards as the best large ensemble jazz album of
the year if not simply the best jazz album period. Naturally I had to
give it an ear.  Does it meet expectations?  You bet! This is
the sort of highly individual and deeply musical orchestral jazz that
such masters as Ellington, Mingus, Gil Evans, and Carla Bley (another
not-unpleasant-looking woman in jazz) have given us.

Born in Minnesota, Maria Schneider has performed, toured and recorded
in Europe so much that I must admit I had thought she was German. After
the Eastman School of Music she sought out Bob Brookmeyer to study jazz
composition, and at the same became an assistant to Gil Evans. (I tend
to automatically like any composer who comes out of that school.) The
five works on this disc are all ambitious composition of great density
but with an easily-grasped structure.  A quick look at their
titles will indicate that Schneider shares with Evans and others
(Gerald Wilson comes to mind) a fascination with the general area of
Spanish music.  In Schneider’s case the stimulus was hearing Paco
Lucia live, and flamenco is now her primary Latin music interest, as
heard in the closing selection, Buleria, Solea Y Rumba. The first of
her Three Romances has a Portuguese title because she feels her
imaginary foxtrot has a strong Brazilian feel to it.  Ballet was
the starting point for Pas de Deux, inspired by a photo of Schneider’s
favorite ballerina. All of these work were commissioned in advance,
demonstrating the high standing Schneider already had in the music
world. I don’t think even Ellington had such luxuries offered to him.

This is around a 20-piece band, with several guest performers. 
The member credits starts with multi-reed man Tim Ries, who is riding
high with his terrific Rolling Stones Project CD. The two or three
solos on each piece are identified by their performer and his axe —
very helpful in listening to the music. Pianist Frank Kimbrough, who
also records for MapleShade, is soloist on the first two. And
accordionist Gary Versace deserves special mention for his very
anti-lounge-lizard approach to the instrument.

If you dig really creative, original and exciting big band — this is it, man!  Only wish it were in surround!

Tracks: Concert in the Garden; Three Romances: Choro Dançado; Pas de deux; Dança Illusoria; Buleria, Solea Y Rumba.

 – John Henry 

Maria Schneider Orchestra — Concert in the Garden CD ArtistShare0001 ****:
www,mariaschneider.com

This CD was a Grammy this year and was the first-ever Grammy winner to
be available only on the Internet, via the ArtistShare organization. It
has also won numerous awards as the best large ensemble jazz album of
the year if not simply the best jazz album period. Naturally I had to
give it an ear.  Does it meet expectations?  You bet! This is
the sort of highly individual and deeply musical orchestral jazz that
such masters as Ellington, Mingus, Gil Evans, and Carla Bley (another
not-unpleasant-looking woman in jazz) have given us.

Born in Minnesota, Maria Schneider has performed, toured and recorded
in Europe so much that I must admit I had thought she was German. After
the Eastman School of Music she sought out Bob Brookmeyer to study jazz
composition, and at the same became an assistant to Gil Evans. (I tend
to automatically like any composer who comes out of that school.) The
five works on this disc are all ambitious composition of great density
but with an easily-grasped structure.  A quick look at their
titles will indicate that Schneider shares with Evans and others
(Gerald Wilson comes to mind) a fascination with the general area of
Spanish music.  In Schneider’s case the stimulus was hearing Paco
Lucia live, and flamenco is now her primary Latin music interest, as
heard in the closing selection, Buleria, Solea Y Rumba. The first of
her Three Romances has a Portuguese title because she feels her
imaginary foxtrot has a strong Brazilian feel to it.  Ballet was
the starting point for Pas de Deux, inspired by a photo of Schneider’s
favorite ballerina. All of these work were commissioned in advance,
demonstrating the high standing Schneider already had in the music
world. I don’t think even Ellington had such luxuries offered to him.

This is around a 20-piece band, with several guest performers. 
The member credits starts with multi-reed man Tim Ries, who is riding
high with his terrific Rolling Stones Project CD. The two or three
solos on each piece are identified by their performer and his axe —
very helpful in listening to the music. Pianist Frank Kimbrough, who
also records for MapleShade, is soloist on the first two. And
accordionist Gary Versace deserves special mention for his very
anti-lounge-lizard approach to the instrument.

If you dig really creative, original and exciting big band — this is it, man!  Only wish it were in surround!

Tracks: Concert in the Garden; Three Romances: Choro Dançado; Pas de deux; Dança Illusoria; Buleria, Solea Y Rumba.

 – John Henry 

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