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Brian Krock: The Cardiac Kid

With his group Big Heart Machine, the saxophonist and composer is pumping new blood into the big-band sound

Brian Krock
Brian Krock (photo by: Desmond White)

Big Heart Machine, a 19-piece New York big band led by alto saxophonist and composer Brian Krock, generated a big buzz when they released their self-titled debut record last summer. The music was immediately distinctive: labyrinthine forms, lush arrangements, thick streaks of contemporary classical music and progressive rock. And it seemed to come out of nowhere.

Not so, says Krock, 29, who moved to New York in 2011 to earn a doctorate from Manhattan School of Music. If anything, the music came from everywhere.

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Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a jazz journalist in Washington, D.C. In addition to his work on the national and international jazz scenes, he has been covering D.C.’s local jazz community since 2009. He is also a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, and as such spends most days either hunkered down at a screen or inside his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.