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A Tribute To The Clarke - Boland Big Band

BuJazzO

A Tribute To The Clarke - Boland Big Band

Price: € 14.95
Format: CD
Label: Double Moon Records
UPC: 0608917137927
Catnr: DMCHR 71379
Release date: 28 May 2021
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Label
Double Moon Records
UPC
0608917137927
Catalogue number
DMCHR 71379
Release date
28 May 2021

"... The multi-award winning ensemble creates a vital and lively memorial to the Clarke-Boland Big Band. Great!"

sk.jazz.sk, 31-8-2021
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About the album

The Federal Jazz Orchestra, abbreviated and affectionately named BuJazzO by many, pays tribute to the legendary Clarke-Boland Big Band on its new CD. The legendary international ensemble existed from 1961 to 1972 in Cologne and was led by American drummer Kenny Clarke and Belgian pianist, composer and arranger Francy Boland.

The Clarke-Boland Big Band was formed on the initiative of Pierluigi “Gigi” Campi, who was born in Italy and lived in Cologne as well as promoted and produced the band. Campi's estate contained several boxes full of original notes from the Clarke-Boland Big Band, which Campi's family bequeathed to the Federal Jazz Orchestra. Two years ago, the orchestra devoted itself to this treasure. Trombonist Jiggs Whigham, who led the Federal Jazz Orchestra from 2011 to 2020 together with saxophonist Niels Klein, chose the repertoire. After an intensive rehearsal phase, the Federal Jazz Orchestra gave twelve concerts in Germany, from whose recordings the CD is composed.

“The Clarke-Boland Big Band was an international jazz orchestra at its best,” Jiggs Whigham said who is still enthusiastic about the orchestra. He lived in Cologne at the time and played with the band several times. “The mood in the band was always full of optimism, which was also due to the fact that most of the musicians were friends. There was a party atmosphere in this band every day.”

Providing a testimonial to this ensemble makes sense, because the Clarke-Boland Big Band was not only a gathering of exquisite soloists, but also thrived thanks to its leaders. American drummer Kenny Clarke, who was a founding member of the Modern Jazz Quartet and had played in various bands of Miles Davis, had lived in France since 1956. With his characteristic drumming, for which a penetrating beat on a large cymbal was indispensable, he relentlessly drove the band forward. Belgian pianist Francy Boland, who worked as an arranger in Paris and wrote for Count Basie and Benny Goodman in New York, was responsible for the Clarke-Boland Big Band's repertoire. He tended to compose songs extremely carefully, and consequently his style shaped the sound of the band.

“Boland’s compositions had that certain Francy touch, just fantastic,” Jiggs Whigham stated with enthusiasm. “He never composed too much either, as far as I know. His motto was: Let the musicians play, that's our concept. He knew exactly what his musicians could play, and that’s why it sounds so good.”

The Clarke-Boland Big Band, which began in the ice cream parlor of Gigi Campi as an octet and later grew to 21 members, quickly found an international audience, went on numerous tours and recorded 24 albums over twelve years.

The Federal Jazz Orchestra has now taken up this repertoire and provides an extensive cross-section through the great variety of the Clarke-Boland Big Band. In addition to Boland’s own compositions such as the cooking “Griff’s Groove”, the beautiful ballad “November Girl” and the artful “African Seeds”, his arrangements of standards such as “Dancing In The Dark”, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” and the blues “The JAMFs Are Coming” by Johnny Griffin are characterized by a high degree of originality.

“Francy takes this old standard ‘You Stepped Out Of A Dream’ and turns it into something completely new,” Jiggs Whigham explained. “It’s alive, and you hear pure sounds.”

Since the members of the Federal Jazz Orchestra are constantly changing, despite it already existing for more than 30 years, the band can be attested a kind of eternal youth. It is fascinating to hear how this ensemble of young musicians, who are between 17 and 24 years old, appropriates the musical cosmos of the Clarke-Boland Big Band and skillfully brings this music, which is now almost 60 years old, into the present. The multi-award-winning ensemble sets a vital and pulsating monument to the Clarke-Boland Big Band.

Das Bundesjazzorchester, von vielen kurz und liebevoll BuJazzO genannt, leistet auf seiner neuen CD der legendären Clarke-Boland Big Band seinen Tribut ab. Das legendäre internationale Großensemble existierte von 1961 bis 1972 in Köln und wurde vom amerikanischen Schlagzeuger Kenny Clarke und dem belgischen Pianisten, Komponisten und Arrangeur Francy Boland geleitet.

Die Clarke-Boland Big Band entstand auf Initiative des in Italien geborenen und in Köln lebenden Pierluigi „Gigi“ Campi, der sie förderte und produzierte. In Campis Nachlass fanden sich mehrere Kisten voll mit Originalnoten der Clarke-Boland Big Band, die von Campis Familie dem Bundesjazzorchester vermacht wurden. Vor zwei Jahren wurde diesem Schatz ein erster Schwerpunkt gewidmet. Posaunist Jiggs Whigham, der das Bundesjazzorchester von 2011 bis 2020 zusammen mit dem Saxofonisten Niels Klein geleitet hat, wählte das Repertoire aus. Nach einer intensiven Probenphase gab das Bundesjazzorchester zwölf Konzerte in Deutschland, aus deren Aufnahmen sich die CD zusammensetzt.

„Die Clarke-Boland Big Band war ein internationales Jazzorchester vom Feinsten“, kann Jiggs Whigham, der damals in Köln gelebt und selbst einige Male mit der Band gespielt hat, sich immer noch begeistern. „Die Stimmung in der Band war immer voller Optimismus, was auch daran lag, dass die meisten Musiker miteinander befreundet waren. Jeder Tag in dieser Band war Party-Atmosphäre.“

Diesem Ensemble seine Referenz zu erweisen, ergibt durchaus Sinn, denn die Clarke-Boland Big Band war eben nicht nur eine Versammlung erlesener Solisten, sondern lebte von ihren Leitern. Der amerikanische Schlagzeuger Kenny Clarke, der Gründungsmitglied des Modern Jazz Quartet war und in verschiedenen Bands von Miles Davis gespielt hatte, lebte seit 1956 in Frankreich. Mit seinem charakteristischen Schlagzeugspiel, für den der auf dem großen Becken durchgeschlagene Beat unerlässlich war, trieb er die Band unerbittlich voran. Der belgische Pianist Francy Boland, der in Paris als Arrangeur gearbeitet und in New York für Count Basie und Benny Goodman geschrieben hatte, war für das Repertoire der Clarke-Boland Big Band verantwortlich. Er neigte zum kompletten Durchkomponieren eines Titels und so prägte sein Stil den Sound der Band.

„Bolands Kompositionen hatten diesen gewissen Francy-Touch, einfach fantastisch“, kann Jiggs Whigham schwärmen. „Er hat auch nie zuviel geschrieben, soweit ich weiß. Sein Motto war: Lass’ die Musiker spielen, das ist unser Konzept. Er wusste genau, was seine Musiker spielen können - deshalb klingt es so gut.“

Die Clarke-Boland Big Band, die in der Eisdiele von Gigi Campi als Oktett ihren Anfang nahm und später auf bis zu 21 Mitglieder anwuchs, fand schnell international Gehör, begab sich auf zahlreiche Tourneen und nahm in zwölf Jahren 24 Alben auf.

Das Bundesjazzorchester hat sich nun dieses Repertoires angenommen und bietet einen ausgedehnten Querschnitt durch die ganze Vielfalt der Clarke-Boland Big Band. Neben Bolands eigenen Kompositionen wie dem kochenden „Griff’s Groove“, der schönen Ballade „November Girl“ und dem trickreichen „African Seeds“ zeichnen sich auch seine Arrangements von Standards wie „Dancing In The Dark“ oder „Smoke Gets In Your Eyes“ oder dem Blues „The JAMFs Are Coming“ von Johnny Griffin durch hohe Originalität aus.

„Francy nimmt diesen alten Standard ‚You Stepped Out Of A Dream‘ und macht etwas völlig Neues daraus“, führt Jiggs Whigham aus. „Das lebt und man hört Töne pur.“

Da die Mitglieder des Bundesjazzorchester ständig wechseln, kann man der Band trotz ihres Alters von nun mehr als dreißig Jahren eine Art ewige Jugend attestieren. Es ist faszinierend zu hören, wie dieses Ensemble junger Musiker - sie sind zwischen 17 und 24 Jahre alt - sich den musikalischen Kosmos der Clarke-Boland Big Band zu eigen macht und diese mittlerweile fast sechzig Jahre alte Musik gekonnt in die Gegenwart holt. Das mehrfach preisgekrönte Ensemble setzt der Clarke-Boland Big Band ein vitales und pulsierendes Denkmal.

Artist(s)

BuJazzO

“If it weren’t for BuJazzO, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” (Till Brönner) 'BuJazzO is a dream band for any composer/conductor.' (John Hollenbeck) The Bundesjazzorchester (BuJazzO for short) is the official youth jazz orchestra of the Federal Republic of Germany. The most talented musicians of the next generation come together with renowned pedagogues and conductors to form an ensemble that strives for musical excellence. Originally founded in 1988 by Peter Herbolzheimer, the Bundesjazzorchester is known today as the meeting point for the next generation of talented jazz musicians in Germany. The artistic director team of Prof. Niels Klein and Prof. Ansgar Striepens work together closely alongside guest directors, to prepare, rehearse, and perform regular new programmes, both inside and outside Germany. With...
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“If it weren’t for BuJazzO, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” (Till Brönner)

"BuJazzO is a dream band for any composer/conductor." (John Hollenbeck)

The Bundesjazzorchester (BuJazzO for short) is the official youth jazz orchestra of the Federal Republic of Germany. The most talented musicians of the next generation come together with renowned pedagogues and conductors to form an ensemble that strives for musical excellence. Originally founded in 1988 by Peter Herbolzheimer, the Bundesjazzorchester is known today as the meeting point for the next generation of talented jazz musicians in Germany.
The artistic director team of Prof. Niels Klein and Prof. Ansgar Striepens work together closely alongside guest directors, to prepare, rehearse, and perform regular new programmes, both inside and outside Germany. With few exceptions, the young musicians, ranging in age from 17 to 24, study at German and international music conservatories. During their time in the orchestra, the musicians are accompanied by an impressive faculty of jazz professionals, who, in addition to giving instrument-specific instruction, support the young musicians musically as well as professionally, offering connections to their networks and providing optimal conditions for their growth.
After a successful audition, each member remains in the orchestra for up to two years. This allows for the next generation of new talent to join what has become an important stepping stone in the jazz scene towards a successful career. Amongst the approximately 900 alumni of the orchestra are such prominent musicians as Till Brönner, Roger Cicero, Tom Gaebel, Julia Hülsmann, Frederik Köster, Robert Landfermann, Matthias Schriefl, Sebastian Sternal, Peter Weniger, Nils Wogram, Michael Wollny, and Nils Wülker.
The project is generously funded by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, the West German Broadcasting (WDR), the German performers’ copyright society GVL, and Mercedes-Benz Group AG. In addition, the participants contribute financially through co-payments.
The Bundesjazzorchester is the winner of the Frankfurt Music Award 2018 and the ECHO JAZZ Award 2012. In 2012, the ensemble was awarded the West German Broadcasting Jazz Award, and won the German Music Award in 1997.


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Press

... The multi-award winning ensemble creates a vital and lively memorial to the Clarke-Boland Big Band. Great!
sk.jazz.sk, 31-8-2021

... Hats off to so much young jazz competence in this country.
Jazzpodium, 29-7-2021

... The radiance inherent in the traditional arrangements is just as skillfully realized by the young musicians in standards like "Love For Sale" and Boland's "African Seeds". Exemplary for the numerous highlights of the concert, lovingly moderated by Jiggs Whigham, is Johnny Griffin's "The Jamfs Are Coming"...
Fono Forum, 07-7-2021

... In addition, The song is you and Smoke gets in your eyes, compositions by Jerome Kern, were rearranged by Darmon Meader and added to the repertoire. Here the 10-piece vocal ensemble of the band sings. This is something special in a big band and forms a good contrast to the pure instrumental pieces...
NRW Jazz, 07-7-2021

... The precision of the movement playing is remarkable and the vitality with which the young musicians present themselves here seems virulent. It is already a special merit of Jiggs Wigham to have initiated this project and thus to have reminded of one of the best, perhaps even until today underestimated bands of jazz.
kultkomplott, 21-6-2021

... Thus - a group of young musicians in experienced hands - an entertaining experience, a private concert in the listening room at home, and a successful tribute to the great role models.  
Musikansich, 20-6-2021

... On the other hand, some soloists brilliantly break out into the present and undermine the pure cultivation of tradition. Their impetuous joy of playing is infectious and makes the disc more than a pure nostalgia project.
Rondo, 19-6-2021

... There is no better way to honor the legendary big band.
Jazzthing, 01-6-2021

jazz-fun.de says: Today it can be argued that the Clarke-Boland Big Band was a great orchestra and its repertoire deserves laurels, etc. The thing is, it's true. The young musicians of BuJazzo, led by Jiggs Whigham and Niels Klein, captivate us with the music and convey the joy of this artistic and historical act. A beautiful album full of great music! CD of the week: 30.05.2021
Jazz-fun, 30-5-2021

... The 2019 BuJazzO concert recordings show that Boland's arrangements have lost none of their drive and colorfulness ...
Jazzthing 06 07 08 2021, 26-5-2021

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