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America The Beautiful

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Album Review

One of Gary McFarland's major works, this orchestral jazz suite (originally on Skye and reissued on CD by the audiophile DCC Jazz label) utilizes a big band and some strings along with the influence of rock, classical, and jazz. The six-movement piece is ultimately a bit downbeat about the future of the United States as seen from 1968. The emphasis is on the ensembles rather than any individual voices, and the overall results are certainly listenable but less memorable than one might hope considering the potential scope of the work.


Born: 23 October 1933 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s

Largely forgotten now, Gary McFarland was one of the more significant contributors to orchestral jazz during the early '60s. An "adult prodigy," as Gene Lees accurately noted, McFarland was an ingenious composer whose music could reveal shades of complex emotional subtlety and clever childlike simplicity. While in the Army, he became interested in jazz and attempted to play trumpet, trombone, and piano. In 1955, he took up playing the vibes. Displaying a quick ability for interesting writing, he...
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America The Beautiful, Gary McFarland
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  • 5,94 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 1969

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