A fresh spin on contemporary big band, The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra scores a knockout!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
There are countless jazz orchestras that attempt to find that musical sweet spot between old school big band swing and the more modern arrangers that set the tone for the next generation. Most orchestras come reasonably close yet it is The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra and Strength In Numbers that creates a synergy of sound that is vibrant, alive, and should play a significant role in the future of large jazz ensembles.
Aside from a jazz orchestra that is obviously buying in to what McGuinness is selling, Pete McGuinness is a true Renaissance man of improvisational music. The skill sets of accomplished vocalist and instrumentalist combined with a prolific talent as composer and arranger allows Pete McGuinness to lay down a release with one foot in the past while creating a brand new future. Original tunes such as "The Swagger" and "Nasty Blues" are perfect pairings with classics such as "What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life" and "You Don't Know What Love Is." This is back to the future jazz orchestra, if you gave up on this genre awhile back then Strength In Numbers is certainly a reason to take a second look at what is truly an American art form performed at an exemplary level.
Far more than the stereotypical flame throwing big band that takes bombastic to a new level, The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra is deceptively subtle in both strength and execution while creating a textured sound unique to this stellar ensemble. Nothing to grind on here!
Personnel: Pete McGuinness: Composer/Arranger/Vocals/Trmbone/Leader
Woodwinds: Dan Pietro: Alto Sax 1; Soprano Sax, Flute; Marc Phaneuf: Alto Sax 2; Flute; Tom Christensen: Tenor Sax 1; Flute; Jason Rigby: Tenor Sax 2; Soprano Sax; Clarinet; Dave Reikenberg: Bari Sax; Bass Clarinet.
Rhythm Section: Mike Holober: Piano; Andy Eulau: Bass; Scott Neumann: Drums.
Trombones: Bruce Eidem: Lead; Mark Patterson; Matt Haviland; Jeff Nelson (Bass Trombone).
Trumpets: Jon Owens: Split Lead; Tony Kadiek: Split Lead; Bill Mobley; Chris Rogers.