Millennium Jazz Orchestra | Pretty Pumps

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Pretty Pumps

by Millennium Jazz Orchestra

The Millennium Jazz Orchestra is a pure jazz orchestra and one of the best around. The music of composer / arranger Joan Reinders can be compared with the vibes one finds in a big city: surprise, special, conspicuous, spectacular and exciting.
Genre: Jazz: Big Band
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Epoxy (feat. Job Herlmers & Joep Lumeij)
7:41 $0.99
2. Pretty Pumps (feat. Remco Keijzer & Gerlo Hesselink)
10:04 $0.99
3. Alliance (feat. Vincent Veneman)
8:34 $0.99
4. Schemer (feat. Remco Keijzer)
6:16 $0.99
5. Humble & Handy (feat. Gerlo Hesselink)
9:01 $0.99
6. Papoutsákia (feat. Bert Fransen & Dirk Balthaus)
7:51 $0.99
7. Recovery (feat. Job Helmers & Vincent Veneman)
10:44 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Dutch composer / arranger Joan Reinders isn't well-known (in fact, hardly known at all) on this side of the Pond but really should be, as he is among the best anywhere at what he does, which is basically writing and arranging for big bands including the splendid Millennium Jazz Orchestra (formerly the Big Barchem Band). For Pretty Pumps, the MJO's seventh recording since it was formed in the millennial year 2000, Reinders wrote and arranged everything, and his work is as impressive as any big-band jazz you're likely to hear, in the Netherlands or well beyond its borders.
It goes without saying, of course (but we'll say it anyway), that even the most inspired compositions and charts are impractical without a capable band to play them. It is here that Reinders unfolds a winning hand, as the MJO is as polished as contemporary ensembles come (even after factoring in tenor saxophonist Remco Keijzer's over-the top screeching on the title selection). Alto Gerlo Hesselink adds a more moderate solo on that number, and is showcased on the elegant "Humble & Handy." Trombonist Vincent Veneman is a muted pleasure on the ballad "Alliance" and solos with baritone Job Helmers on the pensive finale, "Recovery." Helmers and bassist Joep Lumeij command center stage on the light-hearted "Epoxy," which opens the session, while a more subdued Keijzer shares solo duties with the ebullient pianist Dirk Balthaus on the free and easy "Schemer," Balthaus and trumpeter Bert Fransen on "Papoutsakia," a Bill Holman-like smorgasbord whose bracing grooves give the various sections (including rhythm) ample room to shine, which they clearly do.
Slowly but surely, the center of big-band jazz seems to be shifting eastward as more talented ensembles from Europe and Asia arise to challenge their counterparts in the U.S. and Canada. The Millennium Jazz Orchestra is one among many who are capable of going toe-to-toe with any band. The sections are clean, the soloists articulate and enterprising, while Reinders' charts are sharp and resourceful. A superlative big-band album by any measure.
By JACK BOWERS, Published: September 9, 2012



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