Bruce Lofgren Jazz Orchestra | Red Shift

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Red Shift

by Bruce Lofgren Jazz Orchestra

Exciting, large-ensemble jazz with cutting-edge orchestrations, top studio and jazz musicians, and critically-acclaimed compositions by Bruce Lofgren
Genre: Jazz: Crossover Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. El Capitan
5:55 $0.99
2. Red Shift
6:56 $0.99
3. String Theory
6:24 $0.99
4. The Road to Xanadu
4:27 $0.99
5. Three Day Suckers
6:47 $0.99
6. Nardis
6:41 $0.99
7. I'm Sorry
6:32 $0.99
8. Autumn Samba
6:42 $0.99
9. East of Zamora
9:49 $0.99
10. San Mateo Run
6:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

El Capitan; Red Shift; String Theory: The Road to Xanadu; Three Day Suckers; Nardis; I'm Sorry; Autumn Samba; East of Zamora; San Mateo Run (66.19)
(Sea Breeze Jazz SB 2126)

This is the third Sea Breeze release of the Bruce Lofgren Jazz Orchestra, a group of highly proficient musicians whose leader wrote most of the tunes on this disc and arranged them all. Lofgren is also a first-rate guitarist as he illustrates in eloquent fashion on The Road to Xanadu. Ron King's high-note trumpet work enlivens the Brazilian-influenced El Capitan whilst String Theory is a tribute to Lofgren's mentor, guitarist Tony Rizzi.
Miles Davis' Nardis gets a distinctly different treatment including a burning tenor solo by Glen Berger. The leader's guitar is again to the fore on the nicely relaxed I'm Sorry which contrasts with most of the other offerings on this disc. East of Zamora would be an ideal soundtrack for a documentary on prehistoric wildlife and San Mateo Run is an ode to the large, steam-engine-driven car ferries which used to ply the Puget Sound.
The material, mostly through-written, creates layers of musical colour variously exciting, interesting, challenging, and at times stunning, but I'm sorry to say that that most essential ingredient, a sense of swing, is to a large extent, absent. One for devotees of the contemporary funky end of the big band jazz spectrum. - Brian Robinson, Big Bands International (February 2005) United Kingdom

Red Shift
(Sea Breeze 2126)

Guitarist/composer/arranger Bruce Lofgren, a thinking person's musician, writes in the liner notes about the "red shift" created by an astronomer's spectroscope while analyzing the light from a receding nebula, asserts that his music was written and/or arranged "to evoke a wide range of feelings, ideas, impressions and life responses," and conveys the hope that the listener "will find a wondrous rainbow here and recreate (his or her) own red shift." Well, I wouldn't know about that, but this is the third recording I've heard by Lofgren's Los Angeles-based orchestra, and each one has been more pleasing (to my ears) than the last. Lofgren's music is often deep and passionate, but what's more important to most jazz enthusiasts is that it usually swings, too. Lofgren wrote eight out of the album's ten selections, arranged all of them, solos on half a dozen, and gets by quite nicely with a lot of help from his friends who include such accomplished phrase-makers as saxophonists Glen Garrett, Mark Hollingsworth, and Glen Berger, trumpeter Ron King, trombonist Jacques Voyemant, vibraphonist Billy Hulting, bassist Ken Wild and pianist Alan Steinberger and a muscular rhythm section anchored by drummer David Crigger. Lofgren opens with five of his compositions, and each one is a small gem, from the frisky "El Capitan" to the staccato "Three Day Suckers" (written for the Buddy Rich Big Band). Miles Davis' monumental "Nardis" (introduced by Lofgren's unaccompanied guitar) and Mike Mainieri's sensual "I'm Sorry" are followed by Lofgren's rhythmically charming "Autumn Samba," ethereal "East of Zamora" and twisting "San Mateo Run." Lofgren and his ensemble produce picturesque big-band jazz that ventures well beyond the customary riffs and refrains. - Cadence, May 2004

Red Shift
(Sea Breeze Jazz)

This 17-piece big band from the Southland has a history with Los Angeles that goes back 32 years. Formed in 1972 by guitarist Bruce Lofgren, the ensemble features cohesive big band charts and exciting soloists.
After getting to know the L.A. jazz scene through Ray Anthony's band, Lofgren decided that composing and arranging for his own crew would lead to more creative work. It has. The leader's fiery guitar rocks the house on "The Road to Xanadu" with a power and fury that belies his blues and rock roots. Lofgren started out is Seattle at age 17, leading several bands in that vein. I addition to the leader's powerhouse guitar, this program includes notable solo work from members such as trumpeter Ron King, saxophonists Glen Berger and Mark Hollingsworth, trombonist Jacques Voyemant, and bassist Ken Wild. Typical of the leader's arranging accomplishments, Miles Davis' "Nardis" features an underlying foundation steeped in modern jazz, over which the band's soloists stand out defiantly. Ensemble phrasing forces the sections to work together in perfect synchronization. Under Lofgren's direction, the sections blend easily with harmonious hues.
"San Mateo Run," "El Capitan," and "Autumn Samba" provide genuine West Coast titles for the program, which has a worldwide flavor. Exotic and easy to love, the music kicks for all generations and still swings with genuine passion. - Jim Santella, LA Jazz Scene, April 2004

Red Shift
(Sea Breeze)

Bruce Lofgren has led a contemporary big band for decades. In some ways his orchestra is conventional, consisting of three trumpets, two trombones, and four reeds, the leader's guitar, keyboards, bass and drums plus two French horns, vibes and percussion. But since Lofgren's own playing style is open to the influences of rock, Latin and Brazilian music, his arrangements do not sound indebted to Stan Kenton or Count Basie. Instead they reflect Lofgren's wide-open musical vision.
Among the highlights of this fine set are "Red Shift," a funky remake of "Three Day Suckers" (recorded by Buddy Rich in the mid-1970s), a straight ahead rendition of "Nardis" (which has two contrasting spots for Lofgren's guitar), the forceful "Autumn Samba" and the colorful "San Mateo Run" which musically depicts a steam ferry. Among the key soloists are Lofgren (on six selections), Mark Hollingsworth on Soprano, trumpeter Ron King, trombonist Jacques Voyemant, vibist Billy Hulting and tenor-saxophonist Glen Berger. According to the performance credits, the music was recorded over a 21-month period with solos dubbed in at a different time than the ensembles. But just from listening to this unified program, it would be impossible to know that the music was not recorded live. To Lofgren's credit, his accessible and versatile orchestra sounds unlike any other big band.
Red Shift gives listeners a strong sampling of the Bruce Lofgren Jazz Orchestra. It is available from Sea Breeze and -- Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene, March 2004

Red Shift
(Sea Breeze Jazz SB-2126, 66.19 min.)

El Capitan / Red Shift / String Theory (to Toni Rizzi) / The Road to Xanadu / Three Day Suckers / Nardis / I'm Sorry / Autumn Samba / East of Zamora / San Mateo Run

Bruce Lofgren first formed this band in 1972 and this is their third release on the Sea Breeze label, and one of the excellent soloists featured here is trumpet player Ron King, who has been with the band since its inception. This is a contemporary big band featuring what I can best describe as immaculately played Jazz/Funk music. Most of the numbers are originals by Bruce with the exception of Miles Davis' "Nardis" and "I'm Sorry" by Mike Mainieri, which features Bruce on funky guitar and the aforesaid Ron King. "Three Day Suckers" was originally recorded by the Buddy Rich Big Band in 1975.. Here it is a completely different approach with some rockin' solos by Ron King and Mark Hollingswsorth on soprano sax. "String Theory" (in memory of guitarist Toni Rizzi) is delightful, spotlighting Ken Wild on bass and Jacques voyemant - trombone. All beautifully recorded by Sea Breeze. One for the modernists.-- Peter Green

CD Review: Big Band International - United Kingdom (2/2004 edition)

Bruce Lofgren has had a long career in Los Angeles, writing for both the large and small screen, arranging and producing records and CDs for jazz, pop, funk, and Latin artists. Some of his credits include Ray Anthony, Airto, Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Doc Severenson, Keith Emerson, Percy Faith, Loggins and Messina, Donna Summer, and The Spiral Starecase. He has written over 1700 original compositions and/or arrangements spanning a 40 plus year career.

Over thirty years ago Lofgren started the innovative Bruce Lofgren Jazz Orchestra (BLJO) in Los Angeles, using the cream of Hollywood’s plethora of great musicians. His band is notable for the sound of French horns and woodwinds integrated with the traditional jazz instruments, along with an expanded rhythm section requiring two percussionists and guitar. Since its inauguration the band has performed hundreds of concerts in the Southland, and has been featured in Jazz Festivals including the 2001 Playboy Jazz Festival, and has released 3 critically-acclaimed CDs.

One of Lofgren’s compositions “Three Day Suckers” (which is included on this CD) was recorded by one of the hottest
bands in the history of jazz – The Buddy Rich Big Band in its 1975 release “Big Band Machine”. Though Buddy was known at the time for recording straight-ahead swingers, he fell in love with the wild, fusion-jazz-funk “Suckers” and frequently used it to open his live performances.



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