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December 2003

Renee Rosnes
Renee Rosnes and the Danish Radio Big Band
Blue Note Records

The Danish Radio Big Band, directed by Jim McNeely, provides a first-rate foundation for a triple threat: pianist, composer and arranger Renee Rosnes. She composed five of the eight songs and arranged two on the most appropriately named Renee Rosnes and the Danish Radio Big Band (Blue Note). Her most impressive solo moments can be heard on McNeely's conception of Rosnes' "Black Holes," on trombonist Vincent Nilsson's Latinized arrangement of J.J. Johnson's "Lament" and on "Ancestors," arranged by trumpeter Michael Philip Mossman. Rosnes doesn't need outside inspiration to bring out her best playing chops. She burns the buckle off her own "Orion's Belt," and on her chart for a traditional English anthem, "Early One Morning," she uses brass only, conjuring up a warm, hymnlike, Stan Kenton-ish environment. All of which underscores the only flaw in an otherwise fine session: a lack of continuity. This CD is eloquent proof that Renee Rosnes is ready, at 41, to put out a CD that totally showcases her skills as pianist-composer-arranger.

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Renee Rosnes

Originally published in December 2003
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