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02/07/12

Phil Dwyer Orchestra
Changing Seasons
Alma Records

This 17-piece Canadian big band led by saxophonist-composer Phil Dwyer is augmented by a full complement of 21 strings on this rich collaboration inspired jointly by John Coltrane and Vivaldi. The program is a four-movement suite (“Spring,” “Summer,” “Autumn,” “Winter”) that features Dwyer and violinist Mark Fewer (former concert master of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra) as principal soloists, blowing heroic themes and improvising over the combined ensembles. Dwyer’s dynamic 35-minute masterwork provides a bridge between the jazz and classical worlds that deftly shifts back and forth from sublime to seriously swinging.

Originally published in January/February 2012
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