You say that big bands are boring? That they’re dead? Not so fast. You’re wrong on both counts.
Arranger Ryan Truesdell went to the Gil Evans estate, where he was allowed to pull out dusty manuscripts of compositions that were either never recorded or ones he arranged and recorded with new twists. The result is called Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans. Some of these are new versions of the evergreen classics that Evans did with Miles Davis. Miles esteemed few people and Gil Evans was at the top of his list.
Darryl Brenzel and his Mobtown Modern Big Band have done a jazz version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. His hip new version—not all jazz versions of the work are this good—has a hip name too: The Rewrite of Spring.
Both Truesdell and Brenzel hired top jazz players to celebrate both Gil Evans, Miles Davis, and Igor Stravinsky. With the skills of these two re-composers / arrangers, you simply can’t go wrong. These are two very exciting new albums.
Here is Truesdell leading his orchestra:
And Darryl Brenzel refreshing some classic Stravinsky: