Skip to main content

Jazz CD Release: JC Sanford's Views From the Inside (May 20, 2014) and the Jazz Orchestra Renaissance

From a media release:

JC Sanford's Views From the Inside
A landmark recording of the new jazz orchestra renaissance, marks the emergence of a brilliant bandleader and composer

Buy the CD

One of the most exciting aspects of the current jazz scene is the resurgence of the jazz orchestra -- ensembles that make use of expanded size in order to explore bold instrumental sonorities, unexpected musical colors and arresting sonic textures while joyously mixing and matching musical genres. Critical buzz is all well and good in calling attention to these new big bands, but the solid proof of a vital musical renaissance must come in the form of compelling recorded works. Enter JC Sanford's Views >From the Inside (to be released May 20th on Whirlwind Recordings), an album bursting with ambition and invention that confirms that the promise of the new has actually come to fruition.

Composer, arranger, conductor and trombonist, Sanford employs the resources of fifteen outstanding players (including such celebrated contemporary stylists as trumpeter Taylor Haskins, vibraphonist Tom Beckham and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi) in an ensemble that draws on such unconventional jazz band instrumentation as French horn, accordion, tuba, English horn, oboe, bassoon, violin and cello. Utilizing the diversity of his orchestra, Sanford is able to create sparkling music that references the jazz tradition while also ingeniously incorporating classical, pop and world music sources. His mode of operation could be called selective expansion. "In order to get a wider variety of sound, I needed both more and less in the orchestra," Sanford says. "I may avoid having full horn sections as in a traditional big band, but I use musicians like Ben Kono, Chris Bacas, Dan Willis and Kenny Berger who play multiple instruments, thus giving the band a wide variety of colors."

Calling on creative capital gained from his studies with the legendary arrangers Bob Brookmeyer and Jim McNeely, Sanford makes pointed use of traditional swing conventions, yet just as frequently turns them on their head, tweaking these same conventions by employing daring compositional gambits that endow each performance with freshness and vision.  "I'm always trying to turn that corner that isn't expected," Sanford says, "I was trained in the conventions of swing and big band arranging and I love that idiom, but I don't want to stay in that zone. I'm aiming to avoid the predictable, to find different colors and textures."

Yet for all its inventiveness, Views From the Inside is also an album stocked with notable melody and inviting performances.  Sanford, inspired by such diverse influences as Richard Strauss, Charles Ives, Stevie Wonder and Billy Joel, makes certain that a sure sense of song and expressive drama is never lost amongst the intriguing tonal colors and surprising harmonic and rhythmic structures. "Views From the Inside," "Robins In Snow" (written as part of a new score for the 1925 silent film, Ben-Hur, and featuring the bandleader on trombone) "Brownieland" (spotlighting the accordionist Jacob Garchick), "Sunset Park, Sunset Park" and "Sky. Good. " are each marked by lyricism, shifting moods and a touch of mystery, while "Your Word Alone", "An Attempt At Serenity," "Verrazano Bikeride" and "2nd & 7th" brim with exceptionally cohesive ensemble work and forcefully expressive improvisations, while consistently maintaining strong melodic interest.

Five of the album's twelve tracks are "Brooklyn Vignettes," originally composed as a suite for the American Music Center, pieces that reflect the varied character of the New York borough in which Sanford composed the album and where he currently makes his home. Three compact pieces feature duets between Taylor Haskins and the innovative percussionist Satoshi Takeishi, whom Sanford credits with much of the album's distinctive flavor. "When I give improvisers space, it's their space," Sanford says, "But everyone has to ask the same questions: 'Why am I doing what I'm doing? Does the music demand my contribution?' In the end, you have to allow the music to tell you where to go."

Sanford studied at the University of Northern Iowa and the New England Conservatory where he earned a D.M.A. in Jazz Studies. After relocating to New York, he became involved with the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop under the direction of Manny Albam and Jim McNeely. Currently, in addition to leading his own orchestra, Sanford conducts the twice-Grammy-nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, the Alice Coltrane Orchestra featuring Ravi Coltrane and Jack DeJohnette, the Joel Harrison 19, and the Alan Ferber Nonet With Strings.

Sanford also curates the influential Size Matters series at the Tea Lounge in Brooklyn, which has presented close to 60 big bands over the past four years. Among the jazz and classical artists who have performed Sanford's compositions and arrangements are John Abercrombie, Dave Liebman, Lew Soloff, Andrew Russo and the Swedish Wind Ensemble. Sanford collaborated with composer David Schumacher in the Schumacher/Sanford Sound Assembly jazz orchestra, and is also a founding member (with Darcy James Argue and Joseph Phillips) of the composer's federation, Pulse.


What Else Is Hot This Week?

FACTORY presents World Premiere ACTS OF FAITH November 19 to 28 2020 - Free Livestream

 From a media release: World Premiere FACTORY presents  ACTS OF FAITH by David Yee Directed by Nina Lee Aquino Starring Natasha Mumba November 19 – 28, 2020 @ 7:30PM Streamed live for 6 performances Free of charge TORONTO (October 19, 2020) - To kick off its groundbreaking 2020/21 season, Factory presents the world premiere of acts of faith, by multi-award winning Asian Canadian playwright David Yee, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, and starring Natasha Mumba. Written specifically to be performed for a digital platform, acts of faith will stream live to audiences at home for six performances, November 19-28, 2020.  Thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group, admission is being offered entirely free of charge to audiences across the country and beyond. acts of faith tells a story about the power of faith, the inescapable persistence of our online identities, and the nature of truth in a digital age. The story follows Faith, a young woman who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a ques

Blues Single | Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020)

Blues Single Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020) Stream It From Your Fave Service Waiting is the latest in a string of singles released by Bushwick Blooze Band. The Brooklyn-based blues trio have been performing and recording the blues around the NYC area since 2018. Their first album "Cryin' for the L Train" was released in January 2019, and included covers of famous songs composed by their greatest influencers such as Little Richard, The Allman Brothers Band, Freddie King, and Eddie Vinson.  Bushwick Blooze Band is finishing up the production of their second album "Yes Dear" and unlike the previous cover record, this new album will be their first original contribution to the genres they love. Waiting is an upbeat blues track with a party kind of veneer over solid musicianship. What begins with a classic blues feel transforms into an extended psychadelic flavoured trip. Inventive guitar licks almost make you forget about the virtuosity

Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 Online - PWYC

 From a media release: Batuki Music Society and Alliance Francaise Toronto present A virtual concert featuring Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 at 8:00 PM Enjoy the concert from home! K inshasa’s vibrant nightlife has long been world-famous. It is home to the subculture known informally as the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People (SAPEUR), which has spread its influence through artists such as Papa Wemba. Blaise La Bamba is part of this scene. He has worked with some of the top names of Congolese music, in particular General Defao. I n 2018, Blaise La Bamba founded Kotakoli , an all-star collective of musicians that perform an energetic mix of Congolese rumba and soukous . In the company of Kotakoli, this veteran musician brings Congolese popular music back to the forefront, with spellbinding dances. The Details Date: Saturday November 7th, 2021  Blaise La Bamba and Kotakoli Virtual Concert Time: 8:00 PM Tickets: Pay what you can This concert is offered to you

CD Release: TriBeCaStan's New Deli Breaks the Time/Space Continuum in New Deli (Feb 7)

From a media release: New Release from Little Known Government of TriBeCaStan : Capital New Deli Found to Have Irregular Time-Space Continuum EverGreene Music - February 7, 2012 TriBeCaStan: News Alert. This morning Aljazzeera reported that the questionable nation of TriBeCaStan ( ) has made scientific breakthroughs in time travel. The unrecognized republic of nomads has broken the code of the time/space continuum. And by broken we mean: it no longer works. Applying sonic techniques once only known to a small group of punk rock shamans, the nation's most prestigious scientific entity, the TriBeCaStani FolkLorkEstra, uses sound alone to simultaneously place listeners in eras separated by decades and terrains separated by oceans. The breakthrough is outlined in an auditory compendium titled New Deli (distributed by the state-run EverGreene Music, set for release February 7, 2012 ), a recording that allows the world to experience a type of soulful networking mor

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020)

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020) New York City based singer and songwriter Shihori's new single Soul Trip is atmospheric and ambient. Interesting rhythms and interwoven melodic vocal lines showcase jazzy harmonic progressions in a slow groove mode.  As a songwriter, she uses electronic effects with impeccable musical taste. As a singer, her flexible vocals range from a sweet soprano to a strong mid-range. A veteran of the Japanese pop scene, Shihori moved to New York City in 2018, a move she talks about in a media release. "I was so surprised when I came to NY for the first time. Independent and strong women are respected and there are lots of different preferences in music and style. I thought, 'oh my God! This place really accepts uniqueness and freedom! I didn't know there is a place like this totally different world that allows you to be yourself. Everybody looks so different. So many races, colors, cultures, fashion, ideas...I am so