In June 2013, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra fulfilled a long-held ambition to cross the Atlantic and tour in the USA and Canada. How better to fill two free days than by inviting some friends over to record some tunes? The sessions at Avatar Studios brought together the brightest young minds in Scottish Jazz and some of the wisest heads in America today.
The end result is power-packed contemporary jazz with fabulous featured artists feeding into the grid. Kurt Elling provides a smouldering vocal on "The Sound of Love" while SNJO director Tommy Smith is iridescent on 16-bars of lyrical tenor. Mike Stern plays some incendiary guitar on "Splatch" and Clarence Penn contributes combustible drumming on "Pinocchio". With Joe Locke on superconductive vibes and Dave Kikoski on calibrated piano the former power station crackled to the positively charged blowing of Bill Evans, Donny McCaslin, Michael Dease, Randy Brecker and Joel Frahm. Listen out too for drummer Alyn Cosker's blistering soloing on "Yes or No". Stand well back though for the swing of "Pendulum" as Dave Liebman, fired up by the extraordinary Cosker, pushes the readings off the scale and into the red zone as the 'American Adventure' really heats up.
- Duke Ellington's Sound of Love
- Yes or No
- Dear Lord
- Quartet No. 1 (part 2)
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