Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra|
To You: A Tribute to Mel Lewis
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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Jon Cohen | Los Angeles, CA | 06/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An impressive modern big band recording. From the lush harmonies of 'To You' to the atonal schizophrenia of 'ABC blues,' this is a brilliant display of contemporary composition in a pure jazz form. The latin number, '5 1/2 weeks,' features one of the finest sax solos ever recorded on a big band album. It's short, but Ted Nash teaches a masterclass on how to lay down a melody over a rhythm section, while at the same time weaving around the rest of the horn section. The arranging, composition, and soloing skills of this band are second to none, and this album puts their best efforts on display.This was the first Mel Lewis/Village Vanguard orchestra album I ever bought, and it turned me on to the rest of their work. I highly recommend it."
Superb Hard Driving Organization.
Robert J. Ament | Ballwin, MO United States | 12/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a recording made less than a year after Mel's death and while not being familiar with his band, I can certainly understand the fan enthusiasm for the music. It's like no other I've heard although flash mental associations with the music of Stan Kenton, Bob Florence, and as crazy as it may seem.... even the sound of Claude Thornhill (possibly because of the french horn and some of the harmonies).The title song, written by Thad Jones, is pure beauty. The leadoff track has a wild beginning and some good tenor work by Ralph Lalama. The liner notes aptly describe this as "controlled fury".Ted Nash's "5 1/2 Weeks" has a nice Latin touch.The old standard "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square" comes off really good with an arrangement that does a lot of things with tempos and timing."Nocturne" by pianist Kenny Werner is a beautiful piece of work with a nice solo by Joe Lovano.The Bob Brookmeyer original, "ABC Blues", has a little bit of everything from variations in time to swing. Some great baritone work on this one by Gary Smulyan. I'm amazed that this sounds so contemporary considering it was written back in 1966!The other Werner composition, "Bob Brookmeyer" has some fantastic solos by Dick Oatts on soprano sax and Ted Nash on alto.This is a great contemporary big band sound and I'm surprised that as popular as I've heard the Mel Lewis band was, that this album ranks so low in sales on Amazon."