Anyone who has followed the ascendancy of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra will be aware that there are a number of very fine composers and arrangers for big band plying their trade and creating new repertoire for larger jazz ensembles.
To their number must now be added the name of Japanese-New Zealander Mark de Clive-Lowe, whose portfolio of skills at the keyboard and behind the mixing desk have now embraced the big band, in partnership with the Rotterdam orchestra's conductor Johan Plomp.
The result is eight tracks that are mostly originals but include a stunning version of old Ellington warhorse Caravan, given a new dancefloor make-over to match the other tunes that have made the journey in the other direction. There is some stunning soloing here from the saxes and brass, with the trumpet on El Dia Perfecto and Heaven (probably Rob van de Wouw, who was responsible for initiating the link) quite startling. The two originals MdCL has written for the band are among the highlights, one a Basie-like stomp, the other the evocative tribute to John Coltrane that gives the album its title.
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