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Randy Sandke and the Metatonal Big Band - The Subway Ballet

28-10-2015, 16:44

Randy Sandke and the Metatonal Big Band - The Subway Ballet

Artist: Randy Sandke and the Metatonal Big Band
Title Of Album: The Subway Ballet
Year Of Release: 2006
Label: Evening Star ES-112
Genre: Jazz / Big Band
Quality: Mp3
Bitrate: 320kbps / 44.1kHz / Joint-Stereo
Total Time: 61:13 min
Total Size: 141 MB
WebSite: itunes

01. The Subway Ballet: Watch the Closing Doors
02. The Subway Ballet: Dance of the Downtown Punks
03. The Subway Ballet: Electriglide
04. The Subway Ballet: Dance of the Wall Street Brokers
05. The Subway Ballet: Steel Wheels
06. The Subway Ballet: Dance of the Hassidic Diamond Merchants
07. The Subway Ballet: Making Tracks
08. The Subway Ballet: The Blind Beggar Encounters the Korean
09. The Subway Ballet: Momentum
10. The Subway Ballet: Dance of the Midtown Career Women
11. The Subway Ballet: Straphanging
12. The Subway Ballet: Pas de Deux
13. The Subway Ballet: Express Stop
14. The Subway Ballet: 125th Street
15. Music from 1988: Red Hook Blues
16. Music from 1988: Happy Birthday Berlin
17. Music from 1988: How Did It Get So Late
18. Music from 1988: Realization

Trumpeter Randy Sandke, considered a mainstream jazz stylist, reveals another side on this release, compiled from two sessions recorded about fifteen years apart. The Subway Ballet is a wild suite scored for big band (substituting vibes and xylophone for piano) that utilizes a metatonal harmonic approach, frequently sounding like snippets of music written for a suspense movie. Key centers are often fleeting, though most of the charts seem tightly scored. Sandke's compositions fit his individual titles perfectly; it is easy to conjure characters to match them as the music unfolds. Sandke's setting for the piece is in the early '80s, when New York City was viewed as a dangerous place. "Watch the Closing Doors and "Dance of the Downtown Punks are very ominous, followed by the breezy, playful "Electricglide, showcasing trombonist Wycliffe Gordon to good effect, who sounds like he would have enjoyed playing with Spike Jones. Sandke pulls all stops in the hilarious "Dance of the Hassidic Diamond Merchants, which blends traditional Jewish themes with David Krakauer's deliciously loopy clarinet solo. "Making Tracks, featuring alto saxophonist Ted Nash, is suggestive of Eric Dolphy's late work. Although no one has yet choreographed Sandke's intriguing ballet for dancers, it would be a challenging, worthwhile venture.

The last four selections are grouped as "Music From 1988, described by Sandke as unreleased music that never found a home. The highlight, the gritty "Red Hook Blues, finds Jim McNeely making a rare appearance on organ. The eerie "How Did It Get So Late is a modern classical effort intermingling scored and improvised sections. Less interesting are "Happy Birthday Berlin, an ear-jarring techno track that seems out of place and "Realization, with the flavor of a generic rock soundtrack to an '80s action flick. ~ Ken Dryden

Personnel: Chuck Wilson: alto sax, flute, piccolo; Ted Nash: alto sax, flute; Scott Robinson: tenor sax, soprano sax, clarinet; John Allred: trombone; Joe Barati: bass trombone; Steven Bernstein: trumpet, slide trumpet; Erik Charlston: percussion, xylophone, vibraphone; Mike Christianson; trombone; Greg Cohen: bass; Jim Czak: voices; Glenn Drewes: trumpet; John Goldsby: bass; Wycliffe Gordon: trombone; John Riley: drums; John Hayward: drum machine; David Krakauer: clarinet; Jim McNeely: organ, piano; Bob Millikan: trumpet; Gerry Neiwood: flute, alto sax; Randy Sandke: trumpet, flugelhorn, electric guitar, keyboards, piccolo trumpet; Jack Stuckey: bass clarinet, baritone sax; Kenny Washington: drums; Walt Weiskopf: clarinet, tenor sax; Scott Wilson: clarinet, flute, soprano sax, tenor sax.

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