Tag Archives: Big Band

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Concert Review: Orchestre National de Jazz Montréal

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For a long time Big Band stood as the highest compositional challenge in jazz music.  Artists like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Thad Jones drove the evolution of jazz from a small scale New Orleans operation to the more grandiose genre of swing.  The idea of expanding the size of the ensemble gave the composer a much wider pallet of sound.  Lead trumpets played notes louder and higher than ever before while super-sax sections played in perfect unison at blazing tempos.  This compositional medium continues today with the likes of Maria Schneider and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra incorporating more modern tonal structures into the big band idiom.  The Orchestre National de Jazz Montréal seeks to continue the long legacy of big band with their interpretation of classic Ellington suites as well as more modern works.  On tap for this weekend was an album release show for Montreal’s own Philippe Côté featuring New York sax player David Binney.  Côté’s new album Lungta was influenced heavily by Binney who produced the work and has also spent time mentoring Côté.  The epic event spanned roughly two and a half hours with Côté’s lavish compositions never letting up, continuously seeking the bigger and grander. Continue reading