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Album Review

The ten-musician outfit that Bruce Eskovitz bills as the Bruce Eskovitz Jazz Orchestra on Invitation is an example of what Phil Woods would call a "little big band." In other words, the Bruce Eskovitz Jazz Orchestra is a medium-sized unit; ten is larger than a small group but is smaller than an actual big band or a full-fledged orchestra. Over the years, medium-sized units have made valuable contributions to jazz; the nonet that Miles Davis led on his historic Birth of the Cool sessions of 1949 and 1950 was a medium-sized unit, as were some of Charles Mingus' best bands. And a medium-sized format clearly serves Eskovitz well on this self-produced 2007 session, which paints a consistently attractive picture of his talents as a bandleader/arranger. Small-group recordings like 1993's One for Newk on Koch Jazz showed Eskovitz to be a skillful saxophonist, but on Invitation, he wears the bandleader/arranger hat as skillfully as he wears the soloist hat (Eskovitz is heard on both tenor and soprano sax, playing a little alto flute as well). Thankfully, his arranging doesn't get in the way of his improvising; Eskovitz gives himself plenty of room to blow on Freddie Hubbard's "Red Clay," Bronislaw Kaper's "Invitation," and Herb Ellis' "Detour Ahead," as well as original compositions, which range from the Afro-Cuban-flavored "Latin Fever" to the mellifluous "Breakthrough" to the Sonny Rollins-inspired "Just in the Newk of Time." And that is another hat that Eskovitz wears proficiently on this 60-minute CD: the composer hat. From saxophonist to bandleader/arranger to composer, Eskovitz is in excellent form throughout Invitation.

Customer Reviews


WOW!!! What a record. This is one of the most exciting jazz groups I have heard in a while. I love it!!!


This album is absolutely fantastic! If you are looking for some great jazz look no further my friends. BEJO has it all. Fantastic energy, fantastic tone, and an awesome sound. Buy this album you won't be sorry!!!

that a way brucey!

Yo go bruce! see you monday.

Invitation, Bruce Eskovitz Jazz Orchestra
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