Thursday, June 20, 2013

In review--Blue Note Meets Big Band

Jazz/Big Band 
The Michael Treni Big Band 
Pop-Culture Blues 
The Bell Production Company
When I think of big band, my mind wanders back to the swing era and the likes of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald.  I’m ready to join a chorus of Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke commemorating the big band era.  Today, big band is less about swing and more about encompassing the history of jazz played on brassy horns, sultry winds and a big drum sound.  On Pop-Culture Blues, the title says it all, and trombonist and bandleader Michael Treni play jazz with blue notes with finger-snapping rhythms.
Expect high-octane solos on this instrumental album and a variety of blues, including Summer Blues, Smokin’ Blues, Mr. Funky Blues and of course, Pop-Culture Blues which reflects on weariness to pop culture and blues reflecting popular music styles.  I’m enjoying BQE Blues at the moment with sassy horns.  On Minor Blues, the musicians slow down and perform a blues ballad, but the biggest kick on the CD is Bluesy Bossa where the blues teams up with a Brazilian classic (bossa nova).  Craig Yaremko’s flute offers South American exoticism to the mix.  However, the CD mainly features walls of horns--crystal clear to sultry, and of course, bluesy.

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