striking big band jazz UNC Jazz Lab Band 1 – THE ROMEO & JULIET PROJECT: I can tell you with no hesitation that this is some of the most exciting big band jazz I’ve heard (yet) in 2017… and, as you listen to pieces like the 7:48 “Montague Crest“, you will hear just how talented the group is at interpreting the ancient scribe’s drama! Some of this may have to do with the fact that they are joined by trumpeter Greg Gisbert and vocalist Julia Dollison in their efforts… I’m not always attracted to “student” or “college” bands, because quite often they don’t have the same “pizazz” as more mainstream groups do… but that’s NOT the case here; these folks make the stories they are telling with their music(s) come vibrantly alive!
It’s no wonder they have been recognized as the best college big band by (no less than) Downbeat magazine (several times, in fact). The pace is supremely upbeat, and the players are fully focused as they play “Fortune’s Fool“… and they certainly create the appropriate mood – jaunty, and full of the vim & vigor that life lived to the fullest is – foolish or not… I totally dug this track; it would have been nice if it were just a tad longer, but it still clocks in at near six minutes (5:32).
My selection for personal favorite is the ultimately mellow “Union“… if you can’t sense the joy of love from this 8:53 track, you’re one foot in the grave already! I find myself listening to the song over & over again. I give this release a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99. Get more information about the project and the players on the UNC page for the project. Rotcod Zzaj
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