Symphonic “jazz” compositions, big bands and holiday blasts

The American Composers Orchestra readings of short symphonic works by jazz-oriented composers which I wrote of in my CityArts column and posted about here are now available to hear, thanks to Lara Pelligrinelli at NPR's A Blog Supreme. The 23rd annual BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra concert, featuring "New Works for Big Band" and the naming (not yet publicized) of the winner of the 11th Annual Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize. I'm looking for a third item regarding really large scale opportunities for jazz composers (and listeners), … [Read more...]

The jazz of victory and celebration

It's odd that of all the nuances of expression jazz can convey, the thrill of victory and celebration of success is hard to find among the music's classics. Barack Obama's heartening win of the presidency prompts me to search out joyous music, but I can't think of a movement akin to the bells ringing in Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" in the repertoire of Miles, Ornette, Cecil or Coltrane, Mingus, Monk, Bird and Diz, or Ellington, Basie and Goodman. The crowning last chorus of Armstrong's "Tight LIke This" comes to mind, though the satisfaction … [Read more...]