Jamie Begian Big Band | Trance

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Jazz: Big Band Jazz: Free Jazz Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Trance

by Jamie Begian Big Band

Very modern music for jazz orchestra. Unique compositions with an amazing clarity of vision/concept. Lots of energy, electric guitar and a breadth of moods.
Genre: Jazz: Big Band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Oops!
8:33 $0.99
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2. Trance
7:34 $0.99
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3. Fuzzy Math
9:15 $0.99
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4. MarcySong
8:32 $0.99
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5. La Tortuga
6:51 $0.99
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6. Passion Shuffle
8:33 $0.99
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7. All Beans
8:06 $0.99
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8. Kablooie
5:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
TRANCE (notes by Jim McNeely)

The Jamie Begian Big Band

It's inspiring to see the evolution of the big band format into the rich fabric of the modern-day jazz orchestra scene, there are probably more big bands, big jazz bands, than ever before. True, many of these bands receive support from cultural institutions, schools, universities, and the like. But there are also an amazing number of "free lance" bands that are true labors of love. Usually founded and led by one person, hardly any other institution demands so much time and effort while draining resources left and right. If you have the vision, then you write the music; you copy the parts; you call the players; you hire the rehearsal hall; you book the gigs; you send out the flyers. And then when you decide to record: it's on you, you, you, and you. Face it: you have to be a little crazy to start your own big band!

Enter Jamie Begian.

Jamie has all of these wonderful sounds and ideas flying around his imagination. And for him the inevitable time has come. To form a band that expresses his vision of big band music, with soloists and ensemble players of his own choosing. A band that becomes the instrument through which he expresses his compositional voice.

I've known Jamie for a number of years, through our mutual association with the BMI Jazz Composers' Workshop, which is an ongoing meeting of emerging jazz composers in New York City. I first heard a couple of the album's pieces in the workshop reading sessions, and was struck immediately by their honest individuality, their economy and cohesion, their freshness. His voice has always been a little different. True, he knows the way that big band music is "supposed" to sound, and you'll hear some of that in this recording. But he also imagines a lot of other possibilities for a band: different forms, different kinds of backgrounds, different shapes and colors. And he's not afraid to express them. I like that! This album isn't a mere collection of "charts". Each piece is a short story, with plot and characters. In short, Trance encompasses the rich and varied vision of large ensemble jazz according to Jamie Begian.

Oops! begins normally enough, as a truncated blues. But then a great tutti grows, adding a few players at a time, leading into a group blowout. After the peak, Jamie cues each player, one by one, out of the group. At the end piano and drums tie things up with a quote of the piece's first phrase.

The title piece, Trance, demonstrates some of Jamie's vision of the role of the guitar in the modern big band. It's also our first encounter with Bruce Arnold, here on processed guitar. Jamie asked him to "make it sound like the world was exploding", and Bruce takes no prisoners! Trance also marks the album's first appearance by the Wurlitzer electric piano (mine is long gone, but I still have the soldering iron I used to tune it!). It has a little more bite than the Fender-Rhodes, and plays a large role in this CD.

Then there's the 7/4 journey into Fuzzy Math. This piece was the winning entry in the BMI Jazz Composers' Workshop/Charlie Parker competition for 2001. It's a thoughtful mixture of composed elements and open blowing for John O'Gallagher on alto saxophone and Matt Shulman on trumpet. This "thoughtful mixture" is a trademark of Jamie's writing. There's never a solo "just to have a solo".

MarcySong is the most lyrical offering of the set. Jamie passes the melody around from solo trombone to other solo and group voices. After solos from Marc McDonald and Roberta Piket the ensemble builds, re-working the first bar of the melody over a pulsing pedal. Jamie then teases us with just a hint of the opening trombone theme.

Finally there's Kablooie. Jamie first teases us (again, the teasing!) with 4 measures of "standard issue" saxophone soli, but immediately gets into other territory, throwing different motives around and leading into a powerful melody, all held together by the glue of a repeated rhythmic figure. Solos lead to "almost a shout chorus". The rhythmic figure ends the piece and the CD. Kablooie!

With Trance, Jamie Begian makes his opening move into the realm of today's creative big band composers and bandleaders. You'll hear why the minute you start listening to this CD. I can only hope that there is more to come.

Jim McNeely
October 2002

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Reviews


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CD Baby


Exceptionally modern music for jazz orchestra, ranging from romantic, breathy compositions to that which would electrify the latest spy movie and upstage Pierce Brosnan for good. Shying away from nothing, including electric guitar riffs and relentless drive while covering the gamut of moods and grooves, with equal taste in old school big band and the latest trends in adventurous jazz, "Trance" is an album you won't soon forget.
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Tamara Turner, CD Baby Editor/Reviewer

Exceptionally modern music for jazz orchestra.
Exceptionally modern music for jazz orchestra, ranging from romantic, breathy compositions to that which would electrify the latest spy movie and upstage Pierce Brosnan for good. Shying away from nothing, including electric guitar riffs and relentless drive while covering the gamut of moods and grooves, with equal taste in old school big band and the latest trends in adventurous jazz, "Trance" is an album you won't soon forget.
Read more...

Greg Seigel

oh just go down to number 5 -- I don't like anything abridged.....
I often apply two of my favorite phrases regarding my art (pottery) and other forms of art that I enjoy. The phrases come from Zorba the Greek - - as if for the first time....and - - unlike any other. This music and the group that gives it life definitely deserve these two phrases of admiration from me. I was lucky enough to hear them live several years ago in a second floor club (as I recall) when visiting my son Max who plays bass trombone with the band. Of course my only disappointment with this CD is that the bass trombone is not featured more. Oh, well, maybe next time! I'm delighted and really impressed with the music and the good spirit of the musicians!
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