GRP All Star Big Band

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WORKS: jazz
PERFORMER: GRP All–Star Big Band


The closer you look at big bands, the greater the distance from which they look back: never simply themselves but the sum of their place in the history of jazz. Once they dominated jazz, but since the demise of Count Basie, Woody Herman and Buddy Rich, the roadband is no more. Now they exist as monuments to the past; rehearsal bands where like-minded musical craftsmen gather to sharpen their skills for a project such this. The GRP label has a stable of vastly accomplished musicians, most of whom operate in the field of fusion. For five days the record company assembled most of their stars to record 12 classic hard-bop and post-bop compositions. There is not one moment of compromise. The players, conscious of the big band tradition throw themselves into straight-ahead playing with conviction and inspiration. The result, exemplified by the playing of John Patitucci on acoustic bass and Dave Weckl on drums, is superb contemporary big band jazz, both in concept and execution. Stuart Nicholson