Michael Gibbs & The NDR Bigband — In My View
(Cuneiform RUNE 401, 2015, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-06-14It’s always a treat to have the opportunity to review something new by internationally acclaimed composer, conductor and arranger Michael Gibbs, and even more so when he is working with the outstanding group of players in the Hamburg-based Nord Deutscher Rundfunk Big Band (or NDR Bigband), established in the 1940s, it is one the world's longest-running jazz ensembles. Gibbs, now in his late seventies, doesn’t show any signs of easing up; he’s still going full throttle, and like fine wine, his writing and arranging only gets better with age – in fact the material here, recorded between 2013 and 2015 may well be among his best work. The nine pieces at hand are roughly split between Gibbs originals, and his kaleidoscopic arrangements of classics by the likes of Ornette Coleman (“Ramblin’”), Carla Bley (“Ida Lupino”), Ron Carter (“Mood”), Thelonious Monk (“Misterioso”) and Gordon Jenkins (“Goodbye”). The material is arranged for approximately 20 players, give or take a few, powered by trumpets, trombones and other brass with five reed players, and the requisite piano, bass, guitar and drums, with added percussion on several tracks. Gibbs’ arrangements have a magical way of blending power and smoothness, beautiful melodic phrasing and a joyful approach that is both timeless and brilliant; there is never a dull moment here, every measure is a celebration of life.
Related artist(s): Michael Gibbs
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more