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  • Maria Schneider - Sky Blue [Standard Edition] CD -(Wallet style packaging with one booklet)
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Maria Schneider - Sky Blue [Standard Edition] CD -(Wallet style packaging with one booklet)

11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

"What she does, across the five elegant tracks of Sky Blue, is to create new strands of melody - finely crafted yet tough as steel cable - set within orchestrations that are richly detailed and unhurried, lush but never schmaltzy."
- John L. Walters, The Guardian

"It seemed impossible for Schneider top her Grammy-winning Concert in the Garden, but she's done just that with Sky Blue. She has elevated her music to a seemingly impossible height. ... Cerulean Skies" is the masterpiece within a masterpiece, ... Magnificent. A magical work of art, from beginning to end."
- Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

Track Listing:

1. The Pretty Road
2. Aires de Lando
3. Rich's Piece
4. Cerulean Skies
5. Sky Blue

Official fan-funded ArtistShare release! This is the Standard Edition release of Sky Blue. It is a wallet style packaging with one booklet. Same great music as the LTD Editions version but with standard packaging.

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ArtistShare
  • ASIN: B000UCZU3K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,354 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By RBSProds on September 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Five BIG Stars!! This is a wonderful big band jazz performance by the awesome Grammy-winning and multiple DownBeat Jazz Poll-winning composer, arranger, and orchestra leader Maria Schneider. Her large 17 piece group comes up big with a HUGE performance on her third CD. With superb soloists, unusual shifting tempos, and orchestrations that range from solo instruments out of tempo to huge dense orchestral colorations unlike any you'll find in jazz or any other music, this is wonderful jazz that is very inspiring and intellectually stimulating. Ms Schneider is influenced by her mentor, the legendary Gil Evans, but bears her own individual music stamp with quicksilver music that ranges from deep introspection to high exultation. She paints on a huge sonic canvas that at once evokes the sweeping strokes of painter Jackson Pollock and the pointillism of Georges Seurat, while giving seven of her talented musicians lots of solo time in their respective songs, which shows the capabilities of the overall orchestra. Neither conventional 4/4 swing nor New Age, it's very exotic & fascinating stuff that pulled me into the sonic canvas. It's the direct descendant of the symphonic Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Charles Mingus, and maestro Evans, but with her own adventurous twists and turns.

Each song is a 'Piece De Resistance' in itself using multiple tempos, extensive solo time, dense sonic layers, and unusual effects. On "The 'Pretty' Road", Ingrid Jensen's blazing serpentine-like solo goes from flugelhorn to trumpet to electronic trumpet layers. Guest vocalist Luciana Souza wordlessly soars above it all. "Aires de Lando" is a halting, tango-like theme with a wild virtousic clarinet solo by Scott Robinson that builds to a crescendo with the orchestra pushing and complementing the solo.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bob Wright on February 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Maria Schneider - "Sky Blue" (audio CD, 2007)

This is the latest CD by a modern jazz orchestral composer/arranger/conductor who has already deservedly established a great reputation. It contains a set of 5 separately-commissioned pieces, each with its own very distinct and distinctive character. Maria's own liner notes provide detailed information about how they came to be inspired and created. The first, "The 'Pretty' Road", with a particularly attractive central theme, reflects happy childhood memories. The second captures flavours of Peruvian music and rhythms, while the third is a ruminative piece framing Rich Perry's tenor saxophone playing. "Cerulean Skies" celebrates the joyful arrival of migratory visitors to New York's Central Park. Finally, the title piece features Steve Wilson's soprano saxophone over rich orchestral writing reflecting a mood of deep personal sadness but an eventually uplifting realisation. The musicians in the orchestra - most of whom have worked with Maria before - perform superbly, to do justice to her excellent material. Bob Wright, UK
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gerald L. Ware on September 11, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Maria Schneider has done it again. On a scale of 1 to 10 I am rating this production a 10 and a 5 Star rating from Downbeat Magazine and no I am not the music critic for that magazine. Keep up the excellent composing Ms. Schneider. Someday we will meet and I will be able to give her the appropriate accolade for her composing skills. You must first be a good listener and without a doubt she is!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Conklin on January 20, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
3 1/2 Stars. Jazz Times (magazine) rated this the #2 jazz album of 2007, ahead of acclaimed recordings by McCoy Tyner, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, and others. It was also rated ahead of several excellent big band recordings that year, including one I especially like by Charles Tolliver's group. (Jazz Times' # 1 album of 2007 was the late Michael Brecker's PILGRIMAGE.) So, although I was not familar with Maria Schneider, I had fairly high expectations upon ordering this CD. (It was also mildly exciting to order it because of its limited availability-not in your local stores; only through a "fan-based" website.)

The music IS lovely and often interesting (especially track 2, with its unusual and appealing Latin rhythm). The arrangements and orchestrations are very good, and there's some nice soloing by several different musicians. At times, the music harkens back to Gil Evans; occasionally, the lush colors and sonorities even remind me of John Scofield's fine album QUIET. Not infrequently, though, I detect a "new age" influence--and it's not just the many bird calls. (Schneider, in fact, alludes to a new age influence in her liner notes.) Personally, I don't care much for the new age thing (I find it a trifle boring), but if you're OK with it, you might really like this music. I'm lukewarm.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lance B. Sjogren on October 1, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I had this album for a year or so I guess and had listened to it a couple times and had mixed feelings. Sometimes I liked it, sometimes I thought it was a klunker.

I think part of it is a matter of what mood you are in and another may have to do with the fact that you can't pigeonhole it, hence if you have a certain sense of what good jazz is, this album probably won't fill the bill unless you are open to it on its own terms.

Where was my head at when I was indifferent toward this music? As I have been building up my Jazz CD collection lately I dusted off my Maria Scheider albums and gave them a fresh start. They absolutely blow me away. And of the three I have so far (Evanescence, Allegresse, and Blue Sky), I like this one the best.

Within Schneider's repertoire there is a certain style of song that I love the most, namely one that is undergirded by a very simple and beautiful melody and then goes off into new thematic paths while the melody remains as a distant anchor.

I find that over time I tend to shift my preferences on the songs. I had felt that The Pretty Road was the best song not only on this album but of everything I had heard by Schneider. I am now getting to appreciate Rich's Piece and Cerulean Skies more for their emotional depth as opposed to the more simple and extroverted melody of The Pretty Road. Sky Blue is a great song. Aires de Lando is one I haven't taken to quite as much so far, but that could be due to not yet being open enough to the different style compared to most of Schneider's work.

I would like to also mention, there is the "world" or "new age" aspect to this music but don't put so much focus on that you fail to recognize the jazz here. While they approach it from an unusual angle, this is jazz.
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