Big Band

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The Big Band genre at JMA is for large ensembles (generally ten or more musicians) who play in what best can be called a "big band style". The big band style involves breaking the large ensemble into separate sections, usually grouped by instrument, that then engage in call and response type figures with each other. These motifs can be arranged or improvised. The big band arranging style can also use repeating interlocking riffs by the various sections that provide a rhythmic groove for soloists. Early innovators in big band music include Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Benny Goodman. Modern big band leaders include Quincy Jones and Maynard Ferguson.

The Big Band genre at JMA also includes jazz influenced pop orchetra leaders such as Paul Whiteman, Glen Miller and the Dorsey Brothers. Modern big bands that are influenced by avant-garde music, 3rd stream music or other types of modern elements can be found in the Progressive Big Band genre.

big band top albums

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CAB CALLOWAY Hi De Hi De Ho Album Cover Hi De Hi De Ho
CAB CALLOWAY
5.00 | 4 ratings
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BUDDY RICH Rich in London (aka Very Alive at Ronnie Scott's aka At Ronnie Scotts) Album Cover Rich in London (aka Very Alive at Ronnie Scott's aka At Ronnie Scotts)
BUDDY RICH
5.00 | 3 ratings
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STAN KENTON Standards in Silhouette Album Cover Standards in Silhouette
STAN KENTON
5.00 | 2 ratings
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BUDDY RICH No Funny Hats Album Cover No Funny Hats
BUDDY RICH
5.00 | 2 ratings
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BUDDY RICH The Man From Planet Jazz (aka Live at Ronnie Scott's) Album Cover The Man From Planet Jazz (aka Live at Ronnie Scott's)
BUDDY RICH
4.95 | 2 ratings
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DUKE PEARSON Introducing Duke Pearson's Big Band Album Cover Introducing Duke Pearson's Big Band
DUKE PEARSON
4.82 | 2 ratings
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BUDDY RICH Mercy, Mercy Album Cover Mercy, Mercy
BUDDY RICH
4.62 | 4 ratings
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BUDDY RICH Time Out Album Cover Time Out
BUDDY RICH
4.67 | 3 ratings
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STAN KENTON Adventures in Jazz Album Cover Adventures in Jazz
STAN KENTON
4.58 | 3 ratings
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QUINCY JONES This Is How I Feel About Jazz Album Cover This Is How I Feel About Jazz
QUINCY JONES
4.52 | 2 ratings
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THELONIOUS MONK The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall Album Cover The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall
THELONIOUS MONK
4.40 | 5 ratings
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DIZZY GILLESPIE A Portrait of Duke Ellington Album Cover A Portrait of Duke Ellington
DIZZY GILLESPIE
4.50 | 2 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy JMA!

big band online videos

Sugar Foot Strut
Sugar Foot Strut
SANT ANDREU JAZZ BAND
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Summertime
Summertime
HORIZONS JAZZ ORCHESTRA
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big band New Releases

.. Album Cover
Jazzing 10 Vol. 2
Album
SANT ANDREU JAZZ BAND
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Cheap Thrills : The Music of Rick Margitza
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SOUTH FLORIDA JAZZ ORCHESTRA
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Live in Paris 14 Mars 1961
Live album
QUINCY JONES
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Night Talk -The Alec Wilder Songbook
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MARK MASTERS ENSEMBLE
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Jazzing 9 vol. 3
Album
SANT ANDREU JAZZ BAND
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Collection 1921-32
Boxset / Compilation
THE COON - SANDERS NIGHTHAWKS
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Kenton Trilogy Part Three
Album
STAN KENTON
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Jazzing 10, vol. 1
Album
SANT ANDREU JAZZ BAND
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The Fifties a Prism
Album
THE JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA / LINCOLN CENTER JAZZ ORCHESTRA
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Jazzparaden
Album
BOHUSLÄN BIG BAND
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All My Septembers
Album
PETER ASPLUND
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Aurex Jazz Festival in Tokyo 1982
Boxset / Compilation
JACO PASTORIUS
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Jazzing 9 - Vol.2
Album
SANT ANDREU JAZZ BAND
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Concert Impressions
Live album
STAN KENTON LEGACY ORCHESTRA
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Up & Coming 2019
Album
BOHUSLÄN BIG BAND
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big band Music Reviews

DEODATO Artistry

Live album · 1974 · Big Band
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dreadpirateroberts
On ‘Artisry’ Deodato’s arrangements of classical covers (and his Latin, smooth jazz pieces too) are fleshed out by an orchestra and it’s great to hear them with extra depth compared to the studio recordings.

The sound is maybe a bit ‘warmer’ in a live setting and the band seem to be having a good time too, which I noticed on “St. Louis Blues” and “Superstrut” – especially John Tropea on guitar. Maybe the set list draws a little too heavily from ‘Deodato 2’ compared to what I’d hoped for but if you want a more comprehensive collection of live songs you might have to look to the latter stages of his discography.

BIG BEAT Sounds Good. Feels Good

Album · 2019 · Big Band
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js
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.

BUDDY RICH Mercy, Mercy

Live album · 1968 · Big Band
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darkprinceofjazz
Most Critics would agree with me, This Recording, live from Caesar's Palace, was probably the peak of Buddy Rich's career, Certainly the peak of his late 60's Big Band. All the Charts for this fantastic performance are spectacular, With the Bill Reddie arranged Chanel 1 suite being the zenith of this Cookin' Big Band. Only West Side Story from the album Swingin' New Big Band Is possibly it's Equal. I always liked "Goodbye Yesterday" as well, The bonus tracks added to the remastered CD are also all worthy listens, With The Theme from Mr. Lucky being of most interest, also you might want to checkout the Sammy Davis Jr. album, "The sounds of 66'" With The Big Band backing him up, one of his best singing performances I think. I would have loved to had been in the audience that night in Vegas, I can only imagine how vibrant and exciting this music sounded as it was being played live.

SOUTH FLORIDA JAZZ ORCHESTRA The Music of Gary Lindsay: Are We Still Dreaming

Album · 2018 · Big Band
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js
I don’t know if a lot of people think of Florida as a hot bed for current big band activity, but with Micah Bethea having just released another excellent album in the Jacksonville area, followed quickly by this set out of the Miami area by The South Florida Jazz Orchestra, its starting to look like Florida could become known for more than just alligators, mosquitoes and shirtless guys with mullets. The truth is, Miami has had a very active jazz scene for a long time now, and has contributed many major players to the jazz world. One such local star is saxophonist Gary Lindsay, who arranged all of the music on “The Music of Gary Lindsay: Are We Still Dreaming”, hence the CD title of course, and Gary also composed several of the numbers as well. The big band assembled here is top notch with many in-demand New York and Miami session musicians taking up the chairs.

The music on here strikes an interesting variety. Three cuts utilize vocalists; Nicole Yarling’s “Easy Living” hit’s a slinky groove that‘s perfect for the lyrics, and Julia Dollison’s wordless vocals add much to the ethereal Lindsay original, “Are We Still Dreaming”. Julia also sings a high energy medley of two standards as well. Other covers include fairly straight ahead readings of “Round Midnight” and Pat Metheny’s “Better Days Ahead”, plus a far more creative rendition of Strayhorn’s “Upper Manhattan Medical Group”, titled “UMGG” on here. The best tracks though, are the Lindsay originals, such as the aforementioned “…Dreaming”, and the classically influenced “Toward Hope”. These two in particular allow Lindsay to portray how he uses the various voices in the band to intertwine melodies in infinite kaleidoscope variations. “The Music of Gary Linday: Are We Still Dreaming” is a worthwhile listen for anyone interested in contemporary big band music, or jazz in general, there is plenty of room for soloists in these arrangements.

DIVA 25th Anniversary Project

Album · 2018 · Big Band
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Carmel
Singularly the hardest working Big Band in the industry today, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra is lead by superwoman Sherrie Maricle, who not only is the drummer of the band but the collaborative ball of energy that drives the 15-piece group of highly qualified female instrumentalists. The inspiration for DIVA came from Stanley Kay, one-time manager and relief drummer for Buddy Rich. In 1990, Kay was conducting a band in which Sherrie Maricle was playing the drums. Stanley immediately picked up on her extraordinary talent and began to wonder if there were other women players who could perform at the same level. The search was on and through nationwide auditions, the foundation for DIVA was poured in June 1992, and what emerged is the dynamic musical force that holds forth to the present day.

Though DIVA holds dear the traditional jazz idiom, the release of 25th Anniversary Project includes original compositions by some of the members who are genuine, yet ingenious composers. Maricle explains; “the CD offers our listeners 10 original compositions by 9 remarkable composers, writing for 15 friends in 1 amazing band. It’s DIVA’s mission to continue to swing hard and grow, through the exceptional individual talent within the band and their extraordinary composers and arrangers.”

One such composition is by baritone saxist Leigh Pilzer, titled “East Coast Andy,” a romping tune with high flying horn hits, creatively conceived sections that add to the textural interest of the tune and a burning solo by Pilzer herself, as well as trumpeter Jami Dauber who has a penchant for stomping the gates with her high stepping style.

A beautifully written “Square One,” features alto and soprano saxophonist Alexa Tarantino in the writer’s seat. The tune is harmonically rich with soothing pastoral colorizations and emotional dips, that lead to emotive, conversationally based solos between Rachel Therrian on flugelhorn and Tarantino herself on alto saxophone. The elongated melody is stirring and memorable.

Maricle takes the album out with her original “The Rhythm Changes,” which is aptly titled as it refers to the rhythm of the motif and how it changes through the form of the composition. Soloists, Barbara Laronga on trumpet, Mercedes Beckman on alto saxophone, Noriko Ueda on bass and Maricle on drums create an interactive atmosphere for swing era stalwarts and jazz aficionados to savor. 25th Anniversary Project is certainly a keepsake, when taking stock of its measure, one asks; is it authentic to its source and performed with expertise and awareness, in this case a resounding yes can be heard.

big band movie reviews

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Artists with Big Band release(s)

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
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A Love Supreme Post Bop
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The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
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My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
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