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As it's seems as though it's mostly stateside music, it's nice to see references to more European music creeping in in the comments section. A couple of additions which people might enjoy are : Trygve Seim - I would recommend for this discussion 'Different Rivers' & 'Sangam'. This is very original writing for big band (large ensemble) with a very interesting line up of instruments. The BJO (Brussels Jazz Orchestra) - have recorded several CDs - all recent - and often work with the likes of Maria Schnieder (ask her about them) and Kenny Werner for example. In fact if people are interested I think they will be in residence at the Lincoln Center in the near future - check LC website if you're interested. In fact most countries in Europe have a big band representing them nowadays, Orchestra Jazz de Matosinhos (Portugal) NJO (France), BJO (Belgium), NDR (Germany) http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=33758&pg=1 to name a few - many collaborations between the 'big guns' from the states and the local big band. Most of these have albums of which i must admit I can't personally recommend, but, you can usually find stuff on the net or YouTube just to get a little taster of the music. I suppose that one advantage in Europe is the subsidy sytems which i general make it possible for such big bands to exist. Although this is not the post what seems to be almost as interesting is the American centralized jazz scene and a total ignorance of the European scene. Unfortunately many players go/come to New York just to become recognized back home, of course they learn something as well. But, that's another discussion to be had at a later date. In interesting article (maybe mentioned already?) is a AAJ article on the small ensmeble and it's future - http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=33758&pg=1.
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Mar 23, 2010