New England Jazz Ensemble takes a spin with 5Finger Review

Bea Willis of 5 Finger Review takes the “Peter and the Wolf” album for a spin!’

[eltd_blockquote text=”What makes this version so special, is the leap forward into the under-charted territory of jazz, adding the imagination of Gates and the mastery of the Gwardyak’s arranging skills and the compositional acumen of Jeff Holmes and John Mastroianni, this might become the definitive jazz rendition that others look to in the coming years.” title_tag=”h2″ width=””]

 

 

by Bea Willis

The New England Jazz Ensemble is a large ensemble jazz orchestra comprised of regionally based artists. The ensemble features original and contemporary jazz arrangements and compositions. Much of the band’s material is generated by the ensemble’s members. It is a performance group as well as a composer’s forum. The group is likewise a non-profit organization based in education through the jazz medium, to reach culturally diverse audiences and to educate the public about jazz. Their sixth album Peter and the Wolf is a concept album with original pieces augmenting the original Serge Prokofiev’s score for an overall refreshing listen featuring guest artist Giacomo Gates as the narrator.

 

It would be unfair to do a review of the New England Jazz Ensemble’s album Peter and the Wolf and not talk about the main Serge Prokofiev composition, certainly it would miss the point of the project altogether. This large jazz ensemble provides the opportunity for arranger Walt Gwardyak to bring Prokofiev’s mid-1930s composition into the modern era and bring it into the world of jazz, in all of its glorious hipitude.  Gwardyak takes the composition and creates a compelling reworking of the orchestration and rhythms to introduce audiences to the jazz style and genre all in one extended work.

 

Focusing on the different jazz styles, such as: swing, jazz waltz, New Orleans jazz and cool jazz, other ………….

 

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