|Photo: Antonio Porcar Cano|
In 2016, Ms. Iversen was invited to be the composer-in-residence for the Norrbotten Big Band's 2016-17 season. In her various trips to Luleå, she experienced all four seasons. The different climatic conditions reminded her of the many places she has visited during her career and she began to create music that reflected her responses to those fascinating seasons. The results can be heard on "Everything In Between" (Prophone Records). The 10-song, 98 minute program, is spread over two CDs. The music begins in Spring (two songs), moves to Summer (four songs), on to Fall (two songs), and concludes with Winter (two songs). What stands out throughout the album is the fine musicianship - all but one member of the NBB here is European; the lone exception is drummer E.J. Strickland. He and trombonist Dahlgen are the only two who have worked or still work with Ms Iversen.
Luleå and two in Denmark on 7/22-23/17). One of the most delightful aspects of this music is that the songs cover so much territory. Yes, you hear traces of Duke Ellington/ Billy Strayhorn, Bob Brookmeyer, Kenny Wheeler, Thad Jones, and others but nothing overt (to my ears). And, the music is so melodic. Listen throughout to hear how Ms. Iversen orchestrates each song, often using the brass or the reeds to state the thematic material, how often there are two or three instruments soloing over the ensemble.
|Photo: Solving Hockings|
If you enjoy adventurous large ensemble music, then "Everything In Between" should really grab your attention. Like many suites it's best listened to all the way through but one can also jump in on any track and be pleased. Anne Mette Iversen sets aside her bass for the conductor's baton to lead the Norrbotten Big Band through this delightful aural journey; there are moments throughout when one can sense the waves crashing or the countless stars in the cool, clear, night sky.
For more information, go to www.annemetteiversen.com.
Here's the opening track:
Anne Mette Iversen - composer and conductor
Hakan Brostrom - alto and soprano sax, alto flute (only for the 11/12/16 concert)
Johan Christoffersson - alto and soprano sax, alto flute
Janne Thelin - alto sax, Bb clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet
Mats Garberg - tenor sax, flute
Robert Nordmann - tenor sax, Bb clarinet, flute
Per Morberg - baritone saxophone, flute
Trumpets and flugelhorns:
Magnus Ekholm (only for the 11/12/16 concert)
Arvid Ingberg (also euphonium)
Urban Widborg (only for the 11/12/16 concert)
Bjorn Hangsel - bass trombone, flute
Adam Forkelid - piano
Petter Olofsson - acoustic bass
E.J. Strickland - drums
Köln (Cologne) Germany for a concert with vocalist Patty Austin. The following year, he came back to play in the band behind guitarist Mike Stern and was invited to be a full-time member. During his tenure that lasted until 2013, Gilkes played numerous concerts throughout Europe. He was invited back one month later to play a "farewell concert" of his original music and the resulting album, "Köln", was issued in 2015
"Always Forward" (Alternate Sides Records/WDR) reunites Gilkes with the WDR Big Band and was recorded over three days in early September 2017. As with the previous album, the program features mostly originals compositions and all arrangements by the trombonist (he also conducts the band) plus two standards. In one instance, the 19-member ensemble dances its way through Cole Porter's "Easy To Love." The melody is introduced by the brass sections (note how drummer Hans Dekker accentuates the melody). The song then is handed over to the reeds before alto saxophonist Johan Hörlen steps out for a delightful solo. The other is the oft-recorded "Portrait of Jennie", the title song of a 1948 movie that has been covered by Nat "King" Cole, Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery, and many, many others. Here it serves as a showcase for a classically inspired opening plus an impressive flugelhorn solo from Andy Haderer.
|Photo: All About Jazz|
Marshall Gilkes has matured before our very ears. He has long proven to be a dynamic and thoughtful soloist. Yet, these two albums with the WDR Big Band has shown us that he is a splendid orchestrator, arranger, and composer. "Always Forward" may be his credo In this time of global indecision and a turn away from democratic principles, this music makes a great case for art informing people, teaching people, even while entertaining people.
For more information, go to www.marshallgilkes.com.
Enjoy this lovely ballad:
Marshall Gilkes composer, arranger, conductor, trombone
WDR Big Band Personnel
Johan Hörlén-alto saxophone/flute/clarinet
Karolina Strassmayer-alto saxophone/flute/clarinet
Olivier Peters-tenor saxophone/clarinet
Paul Heller-tenor saxophone/clarinet/bass clarinet
Jens Neufang-baritone saxophone/bass clarinet
Mattis Cederberg-bass trombone
Lorenzo Ludemann trumpet/flugelhorn
Ruud Breuls- trumpet/flugelhorn