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Topic: Big Band Records. What Do You Recommend?

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  1. #1

    Big Band Records. What Do You Recommend?

    In anticipation of the upcoming Big Band addon I'd like to get a few Big Band cds to get familiar with the sound. I'm mainly interested in hearing newer instrumental recordings with either a classic or a modern sound.

    Please post the name of the artist (band), album, and a short description of the material. Thanks.

    Looper

  2. #2

    Re: Big Band Records. What Do You Recommend?

    Well as a videogame soundtrack fan I picked up a great big band/jazz album called Mario & Zelda Big Band Live at Nihon Seinenkan Hall. It is remixes of classic and new Mario and Zelda themes from the games, but I think any big band or jazz fan could appreciate it. Very cool stuff. I was floored by the production quality and the sound. They did some great stuff with this. The band on the album is The Big Band of Rogues. Pick it up if you're interested, I highly recommend it.

    Mario & Zelda Big Band Live

  3. #3

    Re: Big Band Records. What Do You Recommend?

    Check out:

    Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band
    http://www.gordongoodwin.com

    Two CDs available (see web site)

    These guys are freaks of nature (IMO).

  4. #4

    Re: Big Band Records. What Do You Recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by Looper
    In anticipation of the upcoming Big Band addon I'd like to get a few Big Band cds to get familiar with the sound. I'm mainly interested in hearing newer instrumental recordings with either a classic or a modern sound.

    Please post the name of the artist (band), album, and a short description of the material. Thanks.

    Looper
    For sheer BB color, I'm very partial to the later Stan Kenton, especially two of his double live albums Live at Redlands University and Live at Bringham Young University, both available now on CD at amazon.

    There are tons of BB anthologies out there, which would give you an overview of various things, espcially some of the older stuff. Other classic recordings to look for would include Duke Ellington, Count Basie, arranger Sammy Nestico, Maynard Ferguson, Bob Mintzer, and the GRP All-Stars. It's all good stuff. Again, a quick search on amazon will turn up all of these and from there you can read the playlists and various professional and buyer reviews.

  5. #5
    Member
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    Exclamation Re: Big Band Records. What Do You Recommend?

    The Buddy Rich album "Big Swing Face" (at Amazon, detail here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...303458-7868116 ) can't be beat (imho) for latter-day "big band" bravado! (Say what you will about the late Buddy, he got some incredible arrangments and side-men when he put together this group -- which, I believe, pretty much stayed together until Rich's health problems.)

    Of course, the works of Basie, Ellington, Herman et al are wonderful primers in the classic "big band" sound but Rich took it to another whole level. ALSO not to be overlooked for a fresh look at "big band" is Don Ellis (also late).

    i hope this helps ... KevinKauai

  6. #6

    Re: Big Band Records. What Do You Recommend?

    Big bands? (Where is the smiley for revulsion when you need it?! )Big bands are awful surely? Leave it in the 40's. All those cheesy 6ths. ...eeeuch...
    It's a dead idiom born out of a stupid attempt to fuse jazz and the symphonic orchestra. Has anyone written a decent bit of music for big band in the last 50 years? I think not.

  7. #7

    Re: Big Band Records. What Do You Recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by P1E
    Check out:

    Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band
    http://www.gordongoodwin.com

    Two CDs available (see web site)

    These guys are freaks of nature (IMO).
    Thanks for the suggestions guys. This is the only one I've had a chance to check out so far (gonna check Amazon.com later). There are lots of samples on the website and this stuff sounds incredible.

    The DVD is only a little bit more money than the CD, does anybody know if it could be played in a computer's dvd drive?

    Thanks again.

  8. #8

    Re: Big Band Records. What Do You Recommend?

    While you're perusing Stan Kenton CD's, be sure to check out Stan Kenton Plays Chicago, an album of the music of Chicago and Blood, Sweat, and Tears -- two bands which Kenton really admired and praised. The arrangements were done by Bob Curnow, and they are wonderful! Another favorite of mine is 7.5 on the Richter Scale. Come to think of it, virtually anything that says "Stan Kenton" is more than worthy of a listen.

    Kenton did a Christmas album in the early 60's that is one of the real classics of the season. He was still in his Mellophonium period, and this album has some textures and flavors that are truly unique. The original title was A Merry Christmas , on Captiol Records. It was re-relased in the 70's under the title Kenton's Christmas by Kenton's own record label, Creative World. It's now back on shelves on CD, and should be in the library of any music lover who celebrates Christmas. As a point of interest, the Capitol Bones Big Band released an album last year that features many of the original arrangements from Kenton's Christmas record, as well as a few Kenton alumni. A Stan Kenton Christmas is a wonderful album, though the mix sometimes seems to favor the trombone section a bit too much... but then again, they DO call it the Capitol Bones Big Band.

    D.
    "He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds"
    --Psalm 147:3

  9. #9
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    Re: Big Band Records. What Do You Recommend?

    Well, for modern sounding recordings, check out Bob Mintzer's big band stuff as well as Maria Schneider. Count Basie and Duke Ellington certainly represents the mainstream, but for more adventurous stuff check out the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis band, Gil Evans stuff and especially Bob Brookmeyer (really pushed the envelope).

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Re: Big Band Records. What Do You Recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by deadbeat
    Big bands? (Where is the smiley for revulsion when you need it?! )Big bands are awful surely? Leave it in the 40's. All those cheesy 6ths. ...eeeuch...
    It's a dead idiom born out of a stupid attempt to fuse jazz and the symphonic orchestra. Has anyone written a decent bit of music for big band in the last 50 years? I think not.

    You gotta be kidding me! Have you even listened to anything played by a big band in the last 50 years? Yeesh! See my post above and listen to just check out about anything post Thad Jones.

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