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11 March 2010


Bill @ Rootdown.fm

Great article - have to say genuinely that Secret Society would head my list, but would have to share the spot with the Spatial AKA Orchestra:

John Guari

In no particular order:


HR-Big Band - "Do It Again" (Steely Dan tunes arr. by Fred Sturm),

Maria Schneider - Allegresse,

Snarky Puppy - The World is Getting Smaller (not technically a big band, but often can be seen with over a baker's dozen musicians onstage),

DR Big Band (c. Jim McNeely) - Dediation Suite

Russell Anixter

So I should be practicing now, but....

Gil Evans Orchestra plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix

Maynard Ferguson - The Blues Roar

Vienna Art Ensemble - Concerto Piccolo

Johnny Richards - My Fair Lady My Way (or anything else by Johnny Richards)

Billy May - Sorta Dixie

Russell Scarbrough

Bob's albums ought to be a clue that there is some great big band stuff happening right now over in Europe, that stateside we rarely hear about. Bootlegs of radio-only performances reveal some wild stuff happening over there.

Vienna Art Orchestra - Art and Fun
John Hollenbeck & Jazz Big Band Graz - Joys and Desires (my preference of his first 2 big band records, by a nose)
Tim Hagans, Peter Erskine & Norrbotten Big Band - Worth the Wait
Slide Hampton & the Vanguard Jazz Orch - The Way
Mingus Big Band - Tonight at Noon

Also - is anyone else struck by the fact that there were no Stan Kenton albums in the top 25? He's due for a major re-assessment. At least some people remembered Don Ellis.


One of my recent favorites is one that nobody talks about. It only just makes the cut with 11 musicians:

Peter Apfelbaum, It Is Written

No mentions of Clarke-Boland? Handle With Care is a badass record.

The work of Chico O'Farrill, both the old stuff and the newer stuff. Machito's Kenya is a crazy album.



I talked about it! In this very post! (By implication, at least.)

Honorable mentions would have to include large ensemble records by... Peter Apfelbaum & The New York Hieroglyphics

Admittedly I did not mention it by name, but yeah, I was talking about It Is Written (their only CD released in the past decade) and yeah, that's a great record. I had the immense pleasure of hearing this group live at NY Winter JazzFest in January.


D'oh! That's what I get for skimming the post and cutting right to the audio samples. Glad to see someone else likes that record - I've seen virtually no mention of it on any of the major jazz forums.



No love for the Big Phat Band?
A couple of the albums they put out - XXL, in particular (and to a degree, Act Your Age) - are awesome and have a lot of killer grooves and solos. Frankly, any combination of Goodwin's writing and Marienthal's alto is heavenly.

Tom Erickson

I'm happy to see Sam Rivers' Culmination on your list, and since you already acknowledged Joys & Desires (and someone else mentioned Infernal Machines), I will leave these 5 from the past decade (in no particular order):

1. A Single Sky - Dave Douglas / Jim McNeely / Frankfurt Radio Bigband

2. Spirit Music - Brookmeyer's New Art Orchestra

3. Sleight of Hand - Sherisse Rogers' Project Uprising

4. Sky Blue - Maria Schneider

5. Eternal Interlude - John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble

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