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October 2010

The New World Jazz Composers Octet
Transitions
Big and Phat Jazz Productions

Saxophonist and Berklee educator Daniel Ian Smith leads this Boston-based group of composers and fellow educators who have also amassed an impressive list of sideman credits. A wide-ranging program that covers Latin jazz (Richard Grudzinski’s “Meta Mambo”), Third Stream (Ted Pease’s Stravinsky-inspired “Spring Rounds”), funk (Matthew Nicholl’s Brecker Brothers-ish “Without a Paddle”), samba (Nicholl’s lively “Komla’s Saudade”), bebop (Ken Schaphorst’s blazing “Bats”) and New Orleans street beats (Pease’s “And Now for Something Completely Different”), this collection is tied together by free-form interludes from the band members: percussionist Ernesto Diaz, baritone saxophonist Smith, drummer Steve Langone and pianist Tim Ray. Refined ideas, outstanding playing.

Originally published in October 2010
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