Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Jazz's Ode to Rural America: New NDR Bigband Recording

Inarhyme Records has announced the release of the NDR Bigband: Hamburg Radio Jazz Orchestra’s latest feature recording, Tall Tales of Jasper County: The Double Doubles Suite. The full-length concept work features new music by the inimitable award-winning composer Dale Wilson and the tasteful stickwork of heralded UK drummer Gary Husband as a special guest. In addition, the album includes liner notes by The New Yorker contributor Steve Futterman. NDR, encouraged by the band’s lead alto saxophone player, Fiete (Ernst) Felsch (alto saxophone, alto flute, flute, piccolo), commissioned Wilson to write a set of pieces which would extensively feature Felsch and NDR's tenor saxophone player, Lutz Buechner (tenor saxophone, clarinet), along with the rest of the ensemble. “Double Suite” refers to the compositional and thematic thread that connects the pieces as well as the project's extensive utilization of “doubles”, musicians' jargon for additional woodwind instruments that saxophonists sometimes play in a big band. The NDR Bigband would eventually bring the challenging work to life, resulting in this uniquely sophisticated and surprisingly earthy album. This brave exploration of doubles, both written and improvised, Wilson’s masterful soundscaping, and sensational performances by Felsch, Buechner, and fellow ensemble members make for a beautifully lush and powerfully poignant record reminiscent of the American Heartland; a place like Jasper County, Missouri, where Wilson has strong familial connections. The album won a Critics Pick for May from Downbeat magazine. The NDR Bigband is the premiere orchestra of German public radio in Hamburg and is easily one of the best European jazz big bands. Among many others who have performed with the group are Dexter Gordon, Chet Baker, George Coleman, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Tomasz Stanko, Art Farmer, Don Cherry, McCoy Turner, Lionel Hampton, Benny Golson, Johnny Griffin, Carla Bley, and Wayne Shorter. The very first jazz concert of the Orchestra took place in May 1974 in the Hamburg "Fabrik". Since that moment, they have become deservedly Internationally-acclaimed, appearing on stages in Hamburg, Copenhagen, Nuremberg, Chicago, New York, Paris, London, and Beijing.

 The project will be premiered with special guests Lutz Buechner and Fiete Felsch at ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn, New York this Friday, May 15 at 8:00 p.m. 

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