Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Dynamic Sound Patterns of the Rod Levitt Orchestra
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Similarly Requested CDs
Wonderful music, sadly unknown
smurdge | 05/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you do a Google search for trombonist Rod Levitt you may find that he played with Dizzy Gillespie and Gil Evans. It may also mention this album and the 3 he made for RCA. What it doesn't mention is that at least 3 of these are among the most brilliantly composed, arranged and performed jazz albums ever.Taking Ellington as his starting point, Levitt composed melodic, harmonically advanced and downright fun (and often funny) music and got seven of his colleagues in the Radio City Music Hall pit band to play it. None of these guys are "name" musicians, with the possible exception of trumpeter Rolf Ericson who played with Duke for a time. No matter- the group interplay and solos are wonderful. There was a lot of doubling in this band, and Levitt made use of the coloristic possiblities. He also had that knack for making 8 musicians sound like 20 if he wanted to. "Dynanmic Sound Patterns" indeed- The first tune goes from a rough-voiced trombone call to slightly spooky 3/4 flute & bass unison passage to some swinging ensemble passsages & solos within the first 2 minutes. The rest of the album is similar- constantly shifting and yet somehow cohering. These guys obviously played together a lot and really liked playing what Levitt wrote, and what he wrote was obviously just for this particular set of musicians. This was Levitt's first LP, a Grammy nominee for 1962's best Jazz album. This reissue is his first full album to make it to CD. Be warned: If you buy this there is good chance you will be searching for vinyl copies of the RCA albums (start with "Solid Ground" if you do).Considering the obscurity of this record, you really have to wonder how much other brilliant music is lying around relatively unheard, buried under the hype given to lesser artists."
An Unrecognized 1960s Gem
Tom Without Pity | A Major Midwestern Metropolis | 02/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a review for the Jazz Classics CD reissue of a Riverside
LP entitled "The Dynamic Sound Patterns of The Rod Levitt Orchestra,"
which was originally ecorded n 1963.
This fine album did not do much in sales but those of us who became familiar
with it soon grew to really dig the Ellington influenced octet that
was recorded for this LP. At the time of its release, there was an article in Down Beat which apparently helped to get this record a Grammy nomination.
One track after another on this disc is full of unexpected twists and turns along with some fine solos and over all, the writing and arranging of leader
and trombonist Rod Levitt, whose musical imagination and inspiration was operating at full speed during these sessions. The liner notes say it better than I can,:"the trombonist(Levitt) turned out tight canny arrangements that made ingenious use of rhythm, harmonic depth and wit."
I think the main reason this album never really went on to be a recognized
jazz classic is that Riverside Records folded not long after 'Dynamic Sound Patterns" release, so it really wasn't on the record store shelves for very long. I found my copy in a cutout bin for $2 in 1965, I think.
By that time Rod Levitt moved to RCA Victor, I found out later, and released three more fine albums with what might've been the same group, I'm not sure.
Maybe someday those will be rereleased as well.
In any event, this CD is available for a very low price and if you like groups
that are more powerful and better performing than their fame would suggest, this is the CD for you.
I rate this CD five stars with enthusiastic pleasure."
A knock out
James S. Yeoman | 11/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"if you like music that makes you think with your eyes closed, then buy this, you'll love it. Great on headphones. If you don't understand this review you may not like this music. Mix Mingus circa Tijuana Moods, Ellington's long numbers, Lester Bowie (and even little bits of Mike Mantler and Soft Machine 3 at times) and you would have this. But BEWARE, this is a whole orchestra with piccolo, tuba, clarinet, oboe, so sometimes it sounds like Peter and the Wolf escaped and made jazz to their hearts' content. I made a CD a long time ago with half Rod Levitt, and quarters of Shepp New Thing, and Coltrane/Cherry interspersed, to liven things up, and the result was good, although the Levitt parts are much more conservative. Just remember, there are a lot of musicians playing on this record, so there has to be some rigid structure to give cohesion, but there is also a bunch of great solos. The only fault I find is the production/recording, which sounds like the system used on Miles's Sketches of Spain. All musicians are top notch, and not one second is wasted."