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Urban Soundscapes by NewYorkestra Big Band

Nothing is more appealing and invigorating than the presence and resonance of the big band sound. From the Stage Door Canteen to dance halls countrywide, big bands was the glue that kept us sane during the trials and tribulations of world conflict, however at the same time, big bands made moments so personalized and magnified. So when a new one comes along, it’s time to take notice and reflect on quality, for that really what it’s all about. With the release from Sea Breeze Jazz comes the debut of "Urban Soundscapes" by the NewYorkestra Big Band, a very sweet piece with heat.

The piece features the music of accolade-coated Rob Middleton and Peter McGuiness, along with Steve Kenyon plus Andy Middleton, which gives one the sense of the quality of the pieces, performed. First and foremost, the progressive big band sound is very real on the CD. The sounds come from all directions; however, they enter our auditory senses unified. Each section compliments the other - brass to percussion, along with numerous soloists from all areas of the stage. I like the design put forth on this piece, as well.... organized and precise in the arranging and composition, which is hectic with a roster of players as vast as the Newyorkestra Big Band.

Catch the cut Sink or Swim, charming in performance, however the sound is multi-directional and diverse, very cool sound. Soloists Jeff Nelson [bass trombone], Rick Savage [trumpet], and Scott Neumann [drums] accent this piece with quality performances.

Portable Painter also coats the soft sound across the recording with a superb solo from Andy Middleton [tenor saxophone] - one of my standout selections from this offering.

"Urban Soundscapes" does seem to accomplish what the title indicates; sounds as diverse and eclectic as the urban lifestyle, so to speak. Simply put, it has too much to offer than to sit shelf side. Highly advocate this submission.

Karl Stober is a national freelance music journalist/interviewer. Any inquiries or requests should be directed via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact his office at 802-380-6065.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: NewYorkestra Big Band
  • CD Title: Urban Soundscapes
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Sea Breeze Record Company
  • Tracks: Out of the Frying Pan, Digital Life, As Always,One Finger Snap, Sink or Swim, Portland Painter, The Night Shift, Gregory is Here, Eighty One/It’s About That Time
  • Musicians: Steve Kenyo(Alto, soprano saxes, flute), Sheila Cooper(Alto sax, flute), Andy Middleton(Tenor, soprano saxes, clarinet, flute), Rob Middleton(Tenor sax, clarinet, flute), Jay Brandford(Baritone sax, bass clarinet), Mike Ponella(Trumpet, flugelhorn), Craig Johnson(Trumpet, flugelhorn), Rick Savage(Trumpet, flugelhorn), Bill Mobley(Trumpet, flugelhorn), Bruce Eidem(Trombone), Pete McGuinness(Trombone), Mark Patterson(Trombone), Jeff Nelson(Bass trombone), Mike Holober(Piano, fender Rhodes piano), Andy Eulau(Bass, electric bass), Scott Neumann(Drums), Special Guests(Bobby Sanabria-Percussion)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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