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Big Crazy Energy Band Vol. 2

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Album Review

Wendelboe gets it right on this one, with a powerful version of his Big Crazy Energy Band showing off the talented trombonist's writing skills for big jazz band. The Norwegian musicians navigate the tricky rhythms, contrapuntal melodies, and scorching lip-busters accentuated by pop undercurrents, revealing the universal appeal of this art form. The upbeat mood masks some serious performances by a diverse range of soloists. Wendelboe wows with his acoustic trombone on "Husky Walk 86ْْ South," while amplifying it on "Free Fall," and Ruud AsbjøRN takes no prisoners during his electrifying guitar solo on "The End," punctuated by thrusting brass. Not to be missed are the saxophone solos of Danny Wilensky, who attractively straddles the worlds of pop and jazz. Many of the pieces sound original yet surprisingly American-influenced, with relatively little local nuance. The composer favors Kenton-esque Walls of Sound, with lots of brass, though, to be fair, not everything is brash and bombastic. The lovely closer "We Need Us All," for example, with lyrics by Asborg Håmo, is gorgeously interpreted by Elizabeth Moberg. In an alternate universe, it is not inconceivable that this band might have been much better-known internationally, but at least in its native Norway it was recognized for its consummate musicianship.

Big Crazy Energy Band Vol. 2, Jens Wendelboe
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  • 72,00 kr
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 1994

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