Bruce Lofgren Jazz Orchestra | Heart of the Night

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Heart of the Night

by Bruce Lofgren Jazz Orchestra

Red hot and cool sounds from one of the most original large jazz ensembles on the scene today, featuring top LA musicians and tunes that run the gamut from gorgeous ballads to steaming jazz / latin / fusion.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz-Pop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Heart of the Night
7:42 $0.99
2. Warm Notions
5:57 $0.99
3. Sky Sailor
6:43 $0.99
4. Indigo Sky
5:05 $0.99
5. Sez You
5:50 $0.99
6. Night Dancer
6:02 $0.99
7. Parables
8:34 $0.99
8. Fern Hill
4:58 $0.99
9. Beer Pressure
3:09 $0.99
10. Alien Love
8:05 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Too many large jazz ensembles on the scene today are clone bands - providing the listener with a nostalgic trip to the past where they can hear music as it was 50 to 80 years ago. Not this one. The music of the Bruce Lofgren Jazz Orchestra (BLJO)
was composed and arranged by one writer who has had vast experience in a variety of modern musical genres: jazz, latin, Brazilian, pop, funk, ethnic, classical and blues. The music, performed here by masterful studio and jazz musicians, commands the attention of the listener and leads him or her through a dazzling array of moods and tempos, in a way that provides unexpected turns and pleasant surprises.

Heart of the Night
(Sea Breeze)

Jazz, which many people have called the sound of surprise, is certainly alive and well in the music of Bruce Lofgren. In his distinctly personal and appealing work Lofgren uses an ear-pleasing variety of sounds to offer a unique and invigorating look at contemporary jazz. "I don't have any allegiance to any one idiom or language", says the enterprising musician, "Music gives me an opportunity to tell a story in a way that listeners can't always predict how it will come out - or if they can, they can't predict how they will get to that conclusion." Throughout Heart of the Night are examples of Lofgren's keen musicality, which is exemplified by a reverence for melody and a passion for orchestrating extremely listenable parts from all sections of the ensemble.

The opening title track starts off as an extended evocative introduction with thick background textures, before evolving into a steaming Latin-jazz-rock number where trumpeter Ron King sizzles. "Sky Sailor," a soaring, melodic through-composed work, finds a variety of voices-flute, clarinet, oboe, vibes-delivering interwoven strands of melody, all of which is underpinned by the solid bass lines of Ken Wild and fluid drumming of David Crigger.

King's muted horn statements shadow Manhattan Transfer singer Janis Siegel's full, rich sound on "Indigo Sky," where trombones, french horns and woodwinds create a dark then uplifting mood. Flutes and lower brass glide over an easy funk beat on "Night Dancer," setting the stage for the superb, inventive guitar work of Carl Verheyen, who reappears on the exotic closer, "Alien Love."

The turbulent "Parables" in 7/8 meter, is both a stunning ensemble performance as well as a roaring platform for the riveting, Coltrane-influenced tenor saxophone work of Sam Riney, who is also showcased on the dulcet "Fern Hill." Glen Garrett's modern-bent alto, with its ruby-red sound, is heard on "Warm Notions," with its soft textures, and the perky, funky "Sez You," and Dick Mitchell offers tenor sax whoops and hollers on "Beer Pressure," a dandy blues shuffle.

Lofgren, who is active in Los Angeles leading both his orchestra and a sextet, should be well pleased with this collection. It reveals an artist who is not afraid to musically say who he is, and goes about saying it in a most refreshing and beguiling manner.--By Zan Stewart, July 28, 1995

Heart of the Night
(Sea Breeze)

Bruce Lofgren, who wrote nine of the selections on his recent Sea Breeze CD along with all of the arrangements, attempts to reconcile two different idioms: the big band tradition; and pop/funkjazz. While Sam Riney does a close imitation of Kenny G. on "Fern Hill" and altoist Glen Garrett (show-cased on two numbers) clearly has David Sanborn as his inspiration, most of the music is more original. Lofgren uses a reasonable amount of variety (with funky rhythms and electronics on some tracks) in updating the big band sound. Ron King has a couple of good trumpet solos and guitarist Carl Verheyen gets to freak out a bit on "Alien Love."
Among the most memorable performances is the one vocal piece, "Indigo Sky," which boasts superior words by Lorraine Feather and an excellent vocal by Janis Siegel. But otherwise the emphasis is on the tricky and well-played ensembles. Although not a great melodist (none of these tunes are by themselves all that catchy), Lofgren knows how to get the most out of the many colors that are available to him in his 17-piece band (which includes two French horns and a six-piece rhythm section) and there are enough unpredictable moments to hold one's interest. This CD is worth checking out.--Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene



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