John Abercrombie, guitar; Michael Brecker, tenor saxophone; Peter Erskine, drums; Marc Johnson, bass; Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone; John Taylor, piano; Kenny Wheeler, trumpet and flugelhorn. Members of the London Symphony Orchestra.
The opening track "Impromptu" sets the bench mark for this CD, reflective and beautiful, the Jazz impresses upon the orchestral opening gently, quietly. Vince Mendoza has shown a sure hand with his eight tone poems for orchestra and seven Jazz musicians - a powerful mix that works perfectly. The tracks often give the feeling of film music - with the atmospheric and fantasy nature they generate. All the Jazz guys are well known professionals who match the formal grace of the orchestra with improvisational sensitivity. The broad graceful sound of veteran Jazz man Kenny Wheeler on flugelhorn and trumpet is particularly special. Epiphany starts with a warm, pensive piano, taken up by tenor sax then enhanced by strings andante sostenuto - a single oboe, a harp arpeggio all rounded by the full orchestra; an inquisitive tenor sax pushes in and is then taken up again by piano and rhythm section...an idea of what to expect from this CD. The mixing is done superbly - in fact one gets confused as to whether we are at the Albert Hall or 100 Oxford Street. A treat.
by Ferdinand Maylin
Editor: This CD is available in Jazz Now Direct mail order catalog.
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