We See Stars (Origin Records) by Jim Olsen
One day I'll use the word phantasmagorical in a comment. This lullaby is a sweet one. Scary hair more akin to Einstein than Uncle Fester.
For his most recent release as a leader, composer Jim Olsen decided to forgo his usual big band palette for a smaller, more intimate ensemble. Assembling an all-star nonet of friends, teachers and colleagues, Olsen crafted settings that would showcase these outstanding musicians in some very different musical environments. From the harsh electric landscape of "Dark Sun" to the jaunty swing of "Illogical Conclusion," the band, including trumpeter Bobby Shew, saxophonists Dick Oatts and Lynn Baker, and pianist John Harmon, were given free rein to wander through these soundscapes and add their unique voices to the proceedings. The result is a CD that moves from straight-ahead swing and balladry to Stravinskian rhythmic constructions.
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