Progressive Big Band

Jazz music community with reviews, MP3 (free download/stream) and forums

There are two big band genres at JMA; Big Band and Progressive Big Band. Although the term "progressive" might imply that the latter genre is more demanding and complex than the former, this is not always the case. Instead, Progressive Big Band is a term developed in the 1950s to refer to big band music that was not meant for dancing and entertainment, but instead was meant for listening to in a manner more similar to concert hall music. Other than that, the term "progressive" does not imply any sort of definable musical superiority.

Music found in the Progressive Big Band genre at JMA may have ambitions similar to lengthy concert hall pieces, and may also feature elements of the avant-garde and other modern tendencies. The Progressive Big Band genre begins with some extended works by Duke Ellington in the 1940s. Other early pioneers in this genre include; Stan Kenton, Sun Ra, David Amram, Gil Evans, Toshiko Akyoshi, Carla Bley, Don Ellis and others.

progressive big band top albums

Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 5 min. caching

SUN RA Angels and Demons at Play Album Cover Angels and Demons at Play
SUN RA
4.93 | 6 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
ANDREW HILL Passing Ships Album Cover Passing Ships
ANDREW HILL
4.94 | 5 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
CHARLES MINGUS Let My Children Hear Music Album Cover Let My Children Hear Music
CHARLES MINGUS
4.82 | 14 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
SUN RA Space Is the Place Album Cover Space Is the Place
SUN RA
4.86 | 7 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Long Yellow Road Album Cover Long Yellow Road
TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI
5.00 | 3 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DON ELLIS Autumn Album Cover Autumn
DON ELLIS
4.83 | 5 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
SUN RA Lanquidity Album Cover Lanquidity
SUN RA
4.75 | 9 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
SAM RIVERS Inspiration Album Cover Inspiration
SAM RIVERS
5.00 | 2 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DUKE ELLINGTON Such Sweet Thunder Album Cover Such Sweet Thunder
DUKE ELLINGTON
5.00 | 2 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DUKE ELLINGTON Ellington Uptown (aka Hi-Fi Ellington Uptown) Album Cover Ellington Uptown (aka Hi-Fi Ellington Uptown)
DUKE ELLINGTON
4.95 | 2 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DUKE ELLINGTON Black, Brown and Beige Album Cover Black, Brown and Beige
DUKE ELLINGTON
4.75 | 4 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DON ELLIS Live at Monterrey Album Cover Live at Monterrey
DON ELLIS
4.75 | 4 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
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!

New progressive big band free MP3/Stream

progressive big band online videos

progressive big band New Releases

.. Album Cover
One Child Left Behind
Album
ED PALERMO
Buy this album from MMA partners

progressive big band Music Reviews

ROB REDDY Bechet: Our Contemporary

Album · 2015 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Rob Reddy has been working out of the New York City jazz scene since the early 90s, mostly leading his own ensembles that play modern creative music that often draws a lot of influence from ‘roots music’, and early Americana. Given his interest in early jazz, its no big surprise that Reddy’s latest CD, “Bechet: Our Contemporary”, uses 1920s-50s jazz saxophonist Sidney Bechet, and his music, as an inspiration. The connection between the two is furthered by the fact that both play(ed) soprano sax, and both consider(ed) themselves as avante-gardists for their time. On this CD, Reddy presents a mix of original tunes and Bechet covers that seamlessly blend modern NYC with Bechet’s late 20s NYC. The two eras work well together because the late 20s was a very eclectic and experimental era in jazz, an era that produced many fast moving changes. A sly and subversive NYC centered fast paced hustle defines both eras.

This album opens with a Rob Reddy original, “Up South”, that uses Bechet type riffs to build an energetic punky jump blues chaos that features hot guitar from Martin Sewell. After this, Rob uses the colors of his mini orchestra to paint a cinematic tango version of Bechet’s “Petite Fleur”. From here, the album continues to alternate Reddy originals with Bechet covers, and the blend works perfectly. As is often the case with these sort of ambitious projects, there is a wide variety of musical styles at work, including; traces of Ornette Coleman, avant country blues, floating psychedelia, New Orleans style jam sessions gone beserk and plenty more. The music is pushed by hot solos from artists such as Curtis Fowlkes, Charlie Burnham, John Carlson and others.

All of the tracks on here are strong until we get to the album closer, “Broken Windmill”, on which Reddy and his crew try to play a Bechet arrangement from the 20s. Today’s players are clever and resourceful, but they don’t have the sort of physical commitment that it takes to play this kind of music. Reddy’s cover of this tune is interesting and humorous, but not entirely successful, still its inclusion is important for painting the big picture. Overall this is a great album, fans of modern NYC eclectic jazz will know what to expect, and fans of 20s jazz may be surprised at how well this all goes together. How many ensembles can use Sidney Bechet riffs to build floating pastoral Pink Floyd type textures.

TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI Tales of a Courtesan (Oirantan)

Album · 1976 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
dreadpirateroberts
'Tales of a Courtesan' didn't hook me the way the first two Akiyoshi/Tabackin collaborations did. It's certainly not a bad record at all, but I just didn't find the arrangements as engaging here.

There's still a lot of variety and punch (especially to the energetic 'Strive for a Jive') and some reflective pieces too, like 'Interlude', which reminds me a little of some CTI-era Freddie Hubbard, but I was surprised to find the title track a little too sparse. It almost sounds like it was scored for a film but suffers a touch without accompanying visuals. Still, some haunting flute from Tabackin in there.

The surprise stand out for me is the brooding 'Village' which brings more of the progressive big band feel to the fore.

For fans of either Akiyoshi or Tabackin, this is still worthwhile I'd argue, but maybe the start with their first two if you're looking for a spot to dip into their respective catalogues.

LINCOLN CENTER JAZZ ORCHESTRA Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis : Live in Cuba

Live album · 2015 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
“Live in Cuba” is a collection of live cuts that the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra performed during their historic 2010 visit to Cuba. Due to a long standing embargo between the governments of Cuba and the US, it had been many years since an ensemble of this size had visited Cuba bringing the sounds of US jazz mixed with the rhythms of Cuba. These concerts were a big deal and the excitement shows in the performances. Its hard to bottle enthusiasm, but there is no doubting the passion involved when musicians and their audience have a chance to reach out to each other on this level. The people who were lucky enough to attend these shows were treated to a wide variety of jazz styles from modern Afro-Latin fusion to Ellington and everything thing else in-between.

The music on here is hot, but there is something a bit squeaky clean about the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. As one of the few state supported jazz groups in the US, the LCJO doesn’t have to compete on the street for jobs, they already have a steady gig, and much of that gig is about education. This bent towards young audiences and education explains the huge variety of music that the LCJO performs, and it also helps explain the nature of their sound and approach. More than just entertainment, the LCJO is a living, breathing education in jazz history. This is furthered by their director, the well known trumpeter, composer and arranger, Wynton Marsalis. Wynton’s approach to jazz has always had a tendency towards trying to educate people to the big picture. Despite his sometimes ill-considered remarks about some forms of fusion and the avant-garde, Marsalis should be given credit for his ability to discern those aspects of jazz that make it a unique art form, and his ability to illustrate those unique aspects in real performance.

As mentioned earlier, there is a large variety of music on here, but the tracks are arranged thoughtfully and the whole CD has a very logical flow to it. Modern original compositions sit side by side with covers of Ellington and Monk without anything sounding out of place. So many great tracks to mention here, some highlights include the spacey Latin fusion of “Dali”, the semi-free high energy post bop of “Inaki’s Decision” and “Doin (Y)our Thing” and the Ellington/Strayhorn tone poem colors of “Sunset and the Mockingbird”. All of these are nice, but possibly the best comes near the end when the band launches a high speed version of Dizzy’s “Things to Come”, on which Wynton unleashes one of the hottest trumpet solos you will ever hear anywhere.

TED HOWE Pinnacle

Album · 2015 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
A well known jazz publication with a highly regarded reputation ran an unfairly short review on Ted Howe’s “Pinnacle”, in which the writer expressed his dismay over Howe’s classically oriented song titles, and made very little mention of the music itself. We expect better of our jazzy journalistic institutions, as it never hurts to listen to the music first before setting off to criticize. Had our writer of said review given this CD some more time, he would have found that although these titles sport lofty terms such as adagio, etude, suite, impromptu and other terms usually associated with ‘long hairs”, the music on here is pure jazz, and not the least bit stuffy or over arranged. As the song titles imply, Howe’s music does have a 3rd stream influence, but not much more influence than many other sophisticated modern big band arrangers, and the third stream element is just part of what Howe works with as he also draws from the history of post bop, artsy pop jazz and even Duke Ellington influenced swing.

“Pinnacle” opens strong with the odd metered pop influenced melodies of “Presto for Two Trombones”. If you are thinking odd-metered rhythms plus art pop tunes equals Don Ellis in the 70s, you couldn’t be more on target as those who may miss Ellis’ unique big band vision will definitely hear something familiar in “Pinnacle”. Throughout this CD, the make or break for Howe is how strong his melodic material is per track. In this respect, Howe’s strongest writing comes out on the opener, and “Movement 2” of the “Suite for Jazz Orchestra”. Most of the other tracks are good with the impressionistic “Adagio for Piano” showing off Howe’s considerable chops on the piano, and “Jazz Etude for Three Clarinets” featuring some uptempo jaggedy neo be bop. Probably the only weak track would be “Movement One” of the Suite, on which an unpleasant distorted guitar with intonation problems keeps announcing a rather dull melody.

As mentioned earlier, the mix of 3rd stream and art pop on “Pinnacle” may remind some of Don Ellis, other references could include Don Sebesky, early Bob James, or any of those early orchestrated CTI albums. Howe likes to cite Herb Pomeroy and Duke Ellington as influences. Ted shows a lot of potential on “Pinnacle”, and his work could rival Ellis and the others if his band can start delivering performances that are a little more dynamic and a little less pensive. This issue with dynamics could be related to allotted rehearsal time and studio production as well. All the same, if you have an interest in the current big band scene, “Pinnacle” is worth checking out.

ADAM LANE Adam Lane's Full Throttle Orchestra ‎: Live In Ljubljana

Live album · 2014 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
American bassist Adam Lane is one among well-known musicians pushing advanced modern jazz ahead. If his small bands music is more a question of taste, his bigger combo Full Throttle Orchestra (actually small big band)is probably his most successful format.

On newest album,titled simply "Live In Ljubljana" Adam & Co demonstrate their best music ever. Recordings are made in 2012 at annual jazz festival in Slovenian capitol, one of oldest such eve in region,existing already more than half of century. Ljubljana itself is fantastic small town,real pearl placed between Alps slopes and Adriatic coastal area. Ljubljana's jazz festival got second breath around a decade ago when switched its program towards more modern advanced jazz. In fact, together with similar (but much younger) annual jazz festival in Portugal them two cover by best modern jazz all Southern Europe every summer. No strange leading European advanced jazz label Clean Feed releases lot of concerts from both festivals on their CDs every year.

On this concert Adam leads eight-piece band consisting of rhythm section and large team of brass musicians: two trumpeters (American Nate Wooley and rising Portugal star Susana Santos Silva),sax players Avram Fefer,Matt Bauder and David Bindman plus Reut Regev on trombone. Excellent if not all-star line-up. And they sound like that.

Differently from many Lane's previous albums, here his band plays more straight music, combining early big bands' fun with virtuosity and complexity of Charles Mingus music. Being accessible,even catchy,music here still contains lot of free improvisation,characteristic for progressive big band. All musicians obviously enjoy playing (as well as listeners - you can hear their reaction in moments as well) - and the result is excellent.All compositions are greatly composed and even better played - nothing sounds too repetitive or static here. Each band's member has space for soloing,but no solos lasts too long - right as long as good artist needs to make music more spiced but without risk to lose listeners' attention. Almost 80 minutes recording doesn't last long - in fact it looks it finishes earlier than you expecting. What again evidences how really good the music is - after more than hour of dynamic small orchestra music's listening you feel like wanting more.

Not really a release for Lane's more experimental sound fans,"Live In Ljubljana" is excellent album for everyone interested in advanced small orchestras' music, most probably the best progressive big band's album released in 2014.

progressive big band movie reviews

No progressive big band movie reviews posted yet.

Artists with Progressive Big Band release(s)

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Post Bop
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Miles Smiles Post Bop
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
'Out to Lunch!' Avant-Garde Jazz
ERIC DOLPHY
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Colour Theory Acid Jazz
SUBMOTION ORCHESTRA
Buy this album from MMA partners
The TB3 Hard Bop
TERRENCE BREWER
Buy this album from MMA partners
Lines Third Stream
WACLAW ZIMPEL
Buy this album from MMA partners
At This Time Hard Bop
STEVE KUHN
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Free Jazz MP3 download/stream

New Jazz Online Videos

RANDOM ABSTRACT/XADU cover
XADU
js· 9 months ago
Iguazu - Cataract
IGUAZU
js· 9 months ago
Laurent Coq - Coco de Mer | Big In
LAURENT COQ
js· 9 months ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Share this site
Follow us