Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Julius Hemphill Big Band
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
An All-Star Band
Douglas T Martin | Alpharetta, GA USA | 01/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is Julius Hemphill's only big band recording. Previously, Hemphill's compositions had been performed by smaller ensembles like his duos, trios, and quartets with Abdul Wadud, the World Saxophone Quartet, and even Hemphill solo, accompanying himself via overdubbing. With this larger ensemble Hemphill demonstrates his compositional and arranging abilities on a grand scale. The orchestral make-up is a little out of the ordinary. All of the woodwinds (Hemphill, Marty Erhlich, J.D. Parran, John Purcell, John Stubblefield) double on other instruments with nearly everyone playing flute or soprano sax - both instruments (especially flute) that are not usually heard in a big band context. In addition to trumpets, trombone, and bass trombone Hemphill uses two (two!) French horns. These combinations of horns and woodwinds give Hemphill's big band a unique sound - which is appropriate considering the types of compositions that are being played. Two guitarists also get some solo spotlight; Jack Wilkins contributes a great solo to the swaggering "C/Saw" and Bill Frisell plays a classic Frisell solo in "Bordertown". These are compositions that Hemphill has worked over many times in the past. I've heard some of these pieces performed as duets and trios - where they sounded fully realized; that's what makes Hemphill's arrangements for big band so surprising - the songs sound completely different with the expanded line-up. My rating would have been 5 stars but the poetry of K. Curtis Lyle on "Drunk on God" kind of detracts from the music - however the music is powerful enough to stand on its own. Still an amazing recording."