Jazz Blues Magazine reviews Wayne Alpern’s “Jukebox”

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Wayne Alpern

JAZZ BLUES MAGAZINE (March/April Edition)

by Ron Weinstock

WAYNE ALPERN & DORIAN WIND QUINTET
Jukebox
HENRI ELKAN MUSIC

 

Wayne Alpern

According to his website, Wayne Alpern ”is a New
York City composer, arranger, and scholar who integrates
popular and jazz idioms with classical techniques
and repertoire to create a sophisticated contemporary
style of cross-genre, or even post-genre music.
After years of composing complex new music, he
embraced his personal history and indigenous musical
culture and fused them with his classical background
and training. His work includes numerous jazz arrangements,
string quartets, woodwind and brass quintets,
mixed ensembles, pieces for string orchestra, and
several piano works.”

This present recording consists of his arrangements
for the Dorian Wind Ensemble of twenty songs
from the classics, Broadway, jazz classics, and rockpop
standards. The Dorian Wind Ensemble consists
of Gretchen Pusch on flute, Gerald Reuter on oboe,
Benjamin Fingland on clarinet, Karl-Kraner-Johansen
on horn, and Adrian Morejon on bassoon.

The Wind Ensemble’s performance of the arrangements
transform compositions such as “Blue Moon,”
Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Start Believing,’” Charlie
Parker’s “Ornithology,” The Beatles’ “Penny Lane,” and
the Stephen Sondheim classic “Send In the Clowns”
into chamber ensemble gems. The resulting performances
are such that they might be comfortable being
on a Masterpiece Theater show (and one of the tunes
performed is the “Downton Abbey” theme).

Alpern’s arrangements also give considerable
charm to Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood,”
“Do-Re-Mi” from “The Sound of Music,” and the “Nutcracker
Suite.” “Jukebox” is a fascinating and delightful
recasting of familiar numbers that may be easy to
listen to but has solid musical substance.

Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

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