Wednesday, April 30, 2014

JC Sanford Views From The Inside Whirl Wind 2014

JC Sanford is on the cutting edge of the new sound for jazz orchestra!
Brent Black /
So what is the difference between big band and jazz orchestra? Five letters and a couple of string players are the semantic differences between two styles that are essentially the same. Purist will point back to Stan Kenton and his use of the occasional string soloist as the genesis for what is commonly referred to as jazz orchestra. Historians will point back at JC Sanford and his landmark recording that deconstructs the traditional jazz orchestra sound into an organic life force of colors and textures occasionally attempted but typically finding a harmonic flat line as opposed to this land mark effort from Whirl Wind Recordings.
Deceptively subtle in nuanced flavor while occasionally going full contact big band we have a fifteen piece ensemble with an eclectic base line of instrumentation including accordion, vibraphone, oboe, and bassoon. Now, toss in some world percussion along with the zen like embodiment of lyrical bliss from the virtuoso wind section and the only limitations found are within the considerable vision of perhaps the finest jazz orchestra composer and arranger working in North America. Adventurous, exciting, mysterious and oddly accessible has Views From The Inside charting a new direction for large ensemble improvisational music. Compelling music with muscle, a cerebral mind-gasm of sound.
JC Sanford draws from a myriad of influences from Richard Strauss to Stevie Wonder while never losing his own artistic voice. Melody is the cornerstone, the presentation is predictable in the unpredictability occurring within each composition. "Sunset Park, Sunset Park" and "Sky.Good' are melodic mood swings while "At Attempt At Serenity" and "Verrazano Bikeride" are monstrous improvisational works still embracing a strong lyrical sense of purpose.
Jazz orchestra is a style or genre that has remained in the improvisational witness protection program far too long. JC Sanford is poised to elevate the standard that others have been content to limbo under. Sanford is the trombonist, composer, and conductor. The title of conductor is honorary as the music dictates the synergy and direction of this stellar ensemble, Sanford is simply the caretaker. Easily one of the best releases of this young year. Stunning!
Personnel: JC Sanford: Trombone, Composer, Conductor; Satoshi Takeishi: Percussion; Jacob Garchik: Accordion; Tom Beckham: Vibraphone; Meg Okura: Violin, Electronic; Will Martina: Cello, Electronics; Aidan O'Donnell: Acoustic Bass; Dan Willis: Oboe, Piccolo, Flute, Soprano Sax; Ben Kono: English Horn; Bass Clarinet; Clarinet, Flute, Alto Sax; Chris Bacas: Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Tenor Sax; Kenny Berger: Conra-Alto Clarinet, Bassoon, Alto Flute; Taylor Haskins: Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Harmonizer; Matt Holman: Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Mark Patterson: Tenor Trombone; Jeff Nelson: Tuba, Bass Trombone; Chris Komer: F-Horn; Asuka Kakitani: Conductor ("Robins In Snow" and "Verrazano Bikeride").
Tracks: An Attempt At Serenity; Your World Alone; 2nd & 7th (Brooklyn Vignette #5); Brownieland (Brooklyn Vignette #1); Pre-Systems; Robins In Snow; Views From The Inside; Inter-Systems; Sunset Park, Sunset Park (Brooklyn Vignette #2); Sky.Good; Systems Two (Brooklyn Vignette #6); Verrazano Bikeride (Brooklyn Vignette #3).