Lund's folk-influenced guitar lines lead in the title track, with accordion for the only backing until the the piano and bass come in. Kimbrough introduces the melody line which then moves off into the reeds and brass and then the pianist returns for the solo. His phrases sound like the wind blowing through the hay, especially with the horns moving below. When the brass and reeds step out, the music has a Copland-esque feel, clouds floating above the farms and streams. As the sections drop away, Lund's guitar solo moves out front over the simple yet highly effective bass and drums plus the mesmerizing piano chords.
Winter Morning Walks", Ms. Schneider's 2011 recording with soprano Dawn Upshaw. The trilling clarinet lines, the piano and accordion walking alongside as the sections swirl and fade away, is so very attractive, so very comforting.
Jazz, though it encompasses many different and evolving styles, is too confining a word to describe the music of Maria Schneider Orchestra. So is classical and "popular". When you give this recording to a loved one or a friend, let him or her decide what to call it. As Ms.Schneider has done so vividly over the past 2 decades, her writing on "The Thompson Fields" harnesses the power of memory, the power of wonder, of curiosity and, if you are willing to drop your defenses, to walk down these musical roads, you may hear echoes of your home, of your life.
For more information, go to www.mariaschneider.com.
For the record, the orchestra consists of the following musicians:
Steve Wilson (alto and soprano saxophones, clarinet, flute and alto flute)
Dave Pietro (alto and soprano saxophones, clarinet, flute, alto flute, bass flute and piccolo)
Rich Perry (tenor saxophone)
Donny McCaslin (tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute)
Scott Robinson (baritone, bass clarinet, alto clarinet, and clarinet)
Tony Kadleck (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Greg Gisbert (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Augie Haas ((trumpet, flugelhorn)
Mike Rodriguez (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Ryan Keberle (trombone)
Keith O'Quinn (trombone)
Marshall Gilkes (trombone)
George Flynn (bass trombone)
Gary Versace (accordion)
Lage Lund (guitar)
Frank Kimbrough (piano)
Clarence Penn (drums)
Rogerio Boccato (percussion on "Lembrança")
Produced by Maria Schneider and Ryan Truesdell