CD Review: The New World Jazz Composers Octet - Breaking News

Breaking News is the third album of The New World Jazz Composers Octet. Founded in 2000 by saxophonist Daniel Ian Smith the octet was originally a vehicle for a concert series Smith was running entitled Jazz in the Sanctuary. The new release marks the third recording collaboration between Smith and composer Ted Pease, Professor of Jazz composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

The arrangements have the big sound and richness of a big band while maintaining the flexibility and looser feel of smaller ensembles. Everybody have a chance to shine on the album. Tim Ray add some tight and impeccable solos on piano in "Poco Picasso", and "Chidren Waltz" and Daniel Ian Smith gorgeous sound on the baritone sax, especially in the swinging title track "Breaking News" is one of the highlights of the album.

Ernesto Diaz on percussion adds the latin touch to the piece "Warp 7, now!", (someone in the band for sure is a Star Trek fan). The album ends up with the swinging Trilogy, "Thad's Pad", "Strays" and "Willis" and the excellent work by Catherine Hazel Smith on the spoken words of the serene piece "Song Sung Long".

Poco Picasso, Wishful Thinking, Breaking News, Children's Waltz, Warp 7 Now, Song Sung Long, Trilogy

Daniel Ian Smith - soprano, tenor, baritone saxophones, flute, Felipe Salles - tenor saxophones, flute, Ken Cervenka - trumpet, flugelhorn, Tim Ray - Piano, Keala Kaumeheiwa - bass, Mark Walker - drums, Ernesto Diaz - percussion, Catherine Hazel Smith - spoken word

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Wilbert Sostre