WIL SWINDLER'S ELEVENET

Universe B

2011-01-29

How many musicians does it take to make a big band? I don’t think the answer is eleven. However, Wil Swindler’s Elevenet is a bit large to be called an intimate jazz ensemble and a bit small to be called a big band. There are elements of both though, on this first release from the band. No offense to Gil Evans (“Miles Ahead”) or Billy Strayhorn (“A Flower is a Lovesome Thing”), but the best arrangements here are the Wil Swindler originals, “Glass” being one of them. It was commissioned in honor of Gil Evans by the International Association for Jazz Education (Wil Swindler won the honor as the recipient of the 2008 Gil Evans Fellowship). The title track is another awesome original. My favorite piece, however, has to be the nicely complicated “Wowbagger”, and the fact that it references a Douglas Adams character earns Mr. Swindler my utmost respect. Rebecca Ruth 3/5 Stars

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