Composer/arranger Maria Schneider and her 18-piece orchestra perform a variety of advanced and difficult music on this CD. The centerpiece of the set is her three-part "Scenes from Childhood" which deals with fear, confusion and grudging acceptance; do not look here for any childlike melodies or playfulness. In addition the big band plays a reworked version of "Giant Steps," the "Love Theme from Spartacus," the Spanish-flavored "El Viento" (which is slightly reminiscent of Gil Evans's writing for Sketches of Spain) and "Waxwings." There are strong solos from trumpeters Greg Gisbert and Tim Hagans, Rich Perry and Rick Margitza on tenors and baritonist Scott Robinson among others but it is the sound of the full ensemble that is most memorable about this rather heavy and melancholy set.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow