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Jazz Ballad Song Book

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 19, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Trumpeter Randy Brecker, an emeritus statesman whose life in music spans six decades, forges a career record, exploring the contours of jazz's Great American Songbook in collaboration with the DR Big Band and the Danish National Chamber Orchestra. With lushly conceived charts penned by jazz's premier arrangers, including Grammy winner Vince Mendoza, The Jazz Ballad Song Book is both cinematic and intimate, reflecting perfectly the scope of Brecker's contribution to popular music. Evergreens include "Cry Me a River," "All of Nothing at All," "Someday My Prince Will Come," and "Skylark."
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 19, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Half Note Records
  • ASIN: B0052M31K2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,980 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Giuseppe C. HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 4, 2012
Format: Audio CD
It's easy to overlook or underestimate Randy Brecker, describing him, and just as quickly dismissing him, as just "another good player" who, compared to his younger brother Michael, the putative "Coltrane successor," is simply not in the same exclusive, practically sainted company. Maybe he isn't, but on this album he proves to this listener that he can more than stand on his own, playing melodic, inventive, and even pyrotechnical solos that must rank him among the best trumpet players on the contemporary scene. It's not easy to show up in front of an orchestra and get into a swinging, creative groove--even more so when you're conscious of a need to prove yourself to unfamiliar musicians (in this case the Danish National Orchestra) and to swing, not always "with" the assistance, but in spite, of charts that can sound stiff, even overly "heavy" and cerebral.

Sinatra's first hit recording, "All or Nothing at All," is a prime example of the fascinating play at work on this recording. After a slow beginning in the spirit of the ballads promised by the title, the arrangement goes into an up-tempo, swinging 4/4, with Brecker spinning out a killer solo--as satisfying and complete as it is playful and adventuresome. Then the arrangement gets bogged down and wanders off course, as though Swinburne or Webern were thrust into the role of composing a serialist adagio for the Count Basie Band. The interlude is enough to cause the listener to forget about the song and the player--until Brecker finally re-enters, and we can get back to the business at hand.

So if the arranging is at times stiff and pretentious, why does Brecker bother with a project such as this? (Ballads, moreover, have long been in disfavor as far as the general public is concerned.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of the great jazz artists of our time playing some of the best music of our times. I would highly recommend this musical CD. Randy Brecker is phenominal on the Trumpet!
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This fabulous, very highly recommended !!!
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Beautifully played!
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By Dr. R. Lookatch on September 2, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Stereo Review gave this CD outstanding reviews but I was a bit disappointed with both arrangements and sonics given the rave review.
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