FRED HESS BIG BAND
gunther - alto saxophone
johan eriksson- alto saxophone
fred hess - tenor saxophone
dominic lalli - tenor saxophone
mark harris - baritone saxophone
brad goode - trumpet
dave rajewski - trumpet
al hood - trumpet
ron miles - trumpet
tom ball - trombone
nelson hinds - trombone
hoyt andres - trombone
gary mayne - bass trombone
marc sabetella - piano
ken filiano - bass
matt wilson - drums
tyler gilmore conductor
TO: Good Question
Night to Remember
Clef's Visit Grandma's
the other CDs!
On provides a dramatic display of innovative sounds, rooted
in the modern big-band tradition yet moving beyond the expected.
Hess' music is passionate and nuanced, sophisticated and
fun. This big band from the middle of America, conducted
by Tyler Gilmore, is the equal of anything you might find
on either coast.
Provizer, Down Beat and KUVO-FM
solos abound by trumpeter Ron Miles, alto saxophonist John
Gunther, trombonists Tom Ball and Nelson Hinds, Filiano
and, of course, Hess. The sound of the tenorist breaking
out in front of the ensemble for a solo is a marvelous experience-the
gorgeous fluidity of his voice, the labyrinthine stories
he tells, twisting and turning from one surprise to the
next, wrapping up with off-kilter, Hess-ian logic.
the course of the disc's 77 minutes, sound worlds are opened
up through a well-honed collaborative spirit that includes
voices as distinctive as trumpeters Ron Miles and Brad Goode,
drummer Matt Wilson (himself one of the best current bandleaders
in the jazz community) and pianist Marc Sabatella. But it's
Hess' saxophone that is springboard to the most creative,
fully realized solos on "Hold On." While he has
put out a reliable string of admired small group efforts
in recent years, his expressiveness really shines in the
context of this larger palette.
to the recent spate of creative big band records, such as
Darcy James Argue's Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam, 2009)
and John Hollenbeck's Eternal Interlude (Sunnyside, 2009),
Hold On hems closer to established traditions. It eschews
electronics and popular music forms for tried and true devices
that continue to quicken the pulse and lift the spirits.
this doesn't move you to grab the rail ("hold on",
eh?) & hang for dear life, I surely don't know what
will. It's the title track, "Hold On" that cinched
up my love of this adventure, though... every second will
excite you, and you'll dig just how vibrant jazz in a "big
way" can be.