Bernt Rosengren Big Band / Horace Parlan, piano & Doug Raney, guitar Apr18

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Tonal and Consonant
Caprice Records Record Label - Caprice Records: Swedish music written and performed by Swedish artists, musicians and composers from a wide spectrum of genres.
Release date: 2013-01-29

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Bernt Rosengren Big Band / Horace Parlan, piano and Doug Raney, guitar

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Revival of the Big Band musical aesthetic certainly was a goal of Swedish composer/arranger and saxophonist Bernt Rosengren when he formed his big band in 1975. The recording here, a reissue, is of that 19-piece band made up of top-tier Swedish musicians along with American pianist Horace Parlan, who played with Charles Mingus, and guitarist Doug Raney, son of Jimmy Raney. And what a group to listen to!

As for the music they play, it’s exactly as Bernt describes the genre: “Big band jazz should be swinging and danceable. And the music must be built around soloists, just like the old Count Basie band of the 1930s.” Most all of the solo work on the album comes from Raney, Parlan, and Rosengren on tenor and alto sax, as well as flute on one track. A hallmark of great big bands is the interaction between a creative soloist and a tight ensemble, and all seven Rosengren originals on the album, plus fantastic arrangements of Irving Berlin’s “How Deep is the Ocean?” and John Coltrane’s “Naima”, shine with just such stellar musicality.

Hard-swinging, toe-tapping, dance-inducing music with a backbone of blues is something these guys can really play. Pick up this album if you love big band music. You will enjoy yourself listening to it!