Big Band • United States
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BIG BEAT is a 19-piece big band that was formed in 2014 with one purpose - to make music that sounds good and feels good.

The band was founded by bassist Charlie Dougherty, saxophonist Phil Engsberg, trombonist Caleb Rumley and pianist Ryan Tomski. Fresh off of graduating with Master’s Degrees in Jazz Arranging from William Paterson University, the four wanted to write and arrange music for big band. The music they had in mind was steeped in the modern jazz tradition without the limitations of a particular genre. In the summer of July 2014, they began writing and collecting musicians for the project. Shortly after forming the ensemble, Canadian born vocalist Allison McKenzie was invited to join the group. Her compositions quickly became a part of the bands repertoire, as well as her powerful but lyrical voice that easily bridges the pop and jazz worlds. The group consists
Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates

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BIG BEAT Sounds Good. Feels Good album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Sounds Good. Feels Good
Big Band 2019

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BIG BEAT Big Beat album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Big Beat
Big Band 2015
BIG BEAT EP 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
EP 2
Big Band 2017

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BIG BEAT Sounds Good. Feels Good

Album · 2019 · Big Band
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Big Beat is a new big band originating from William Patterson University in New Jersey that also doubles as a hot horn driven RnB outfit with Allison McKenzie on vocals, plus when they break it down to the rhythm section, they are also an intense fusion combo that is not afraid to take things on an ‘outside’ trip. There is a lot of versatility at work here as each song on “Sounds Good Feels Good” displays a different side of the group. Although this is very much a modern ensemble, there is a healthy 70s style looseness to the group, as well as a similar open-minded approach to eclectic material.. It’s no surprise then that their playing often recalls other 70s big band leaders such as Thad Jones, Don Ellis and Gil Evans who embraced, fusion, RnB and experimentalism in wide open anything goes arrangements.

Allison McKenzie sings lead on seven of the nine tracks and she has the sort of range and versatility that should make her well known with or without her fellow band members. Her style easily shifts from jazz to RnB, making her the perfect vocal front person for this versatile group. Her solo voice is good enough, but occasionally she double tracks her voice into some very interesting harmonies and vocal arrangements. The two instrumental numbers give the band a chance to get crazy. On “Just Too Much”, Will Dougherty’s electric piano solo pushes drummer Joe Spinelli into some free form mayhem, and on “A Penny for Your Thoughts”, the band peaks with an aggressive hard rock drive topped with an equally intense electric trombone solo.

Four of the vocal numbers are McKenzie originals, and they hold up well against some classic covers composed by Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott and the Jackson 5. This band is just getting started, and if they can keep this together the future looks very bright as they hit a good balance between bring the party energy and complicated and challenging arrangements. I would imagine that this is a band best enjoyed in a live situation.

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