The Minnesota born conductor/composer Maria Schneider reaches new heights and unexplored territory with her newest album "Allegresse". This is serious music and demands the full attention of the listener. Six glorious compositions by Ms. Schneider are featured and each brings different soloists to the forefront.
Maria is no stranger to the art of composition and holds a Masters degree from the Eastman School of Music. She later moved to New York City and studied composition with Bob Brookmeyer. In 1993 and 1996, she conducted the Gil Evans Orchestra at the Spoleto Music Festival and the JVC Jazz Festival. Having worked in Sweden with Toots Thielemans, a plethora of European engagements followed in Germany, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Maria Schneider has been nominated for a number of awards including the Grammy in 1995 and has placed very well in the Downbeat and Jazztimes readers polls. While on the subject of awards, soloist Ingrid Jensen was a winner of the esteemed Juno Award in Canada.
This is a beautiful CD and I can't help but think that Duke Ellington would be first in line to applaud this fine orchestra and its talented conductor. The recording deserves top marks for lovers of orchestral contemporary jazz. Bravo!