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Very Early

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Album Review

Octobop are in essence a local community big band. However, they have stripped down to a midsize format and gone further than most in their pursuit of more arrangements and album recordings. In other words, they're a very good version of a local community big band. On their fourth album, they return with a series of arrangements drawing from the old standards and the great songwriters, with an added focus on the midsize bands of old (Dave Pell and Shorty Rogers are listed as influences). The album opens with a piece that alternates between full-band walls of sound and solos of mixed excitement. The pace slows down a bit for Johnny Mandel's "Keester Parade" and Henry Mancini's "Pink Panther," holding a very distinct lounge sound, which only picks up for "Powder Puff," an excellent old piece that lets vibes player Bill Hazzard really stretch out for some soloing. The music slows back down until the oddly titled "Saudades" (a slight Latin funk that works both for and against the word's meaning) and finishes with a pair of classics from the jazz world beyond midsize ensembles, and one last piece of basic midsize fun in "You're My Everything." The playing here is generally quite good. The song selection is somewhat run of the mill for the ensemble type, but does highlight the group's strengths well. Don't pick this one up looking for the latest or greatest in jazz, but it's a fairly good outing from a good band, worth a listen for fans of the subgenre.

Very Early, Octobop
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 2006

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