The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra

New Directions in Music

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This 10" LP set the fading big-band business on its ear when it was released, pushing the envelope as to how such an ensemble could be manipulated to produce new colors and effects. Eddie Sauter and Bill Finegan ran wild with the mixing of disparate and exotic colors, clashing urbane harmonies, and expansions of the wind and percussion sections to accommodate instruments not normally heard in big bands -- and it was often danceable, too. Listen to the way a singing voice rises out of the band in "April in Paris" as if it was just another instrument, and to the scintillating, clever transformation of the Troika from Prokofiev's "Lieutenant Kije" into the jiggling "Midnight Sleighride," as well as the exquisite treatment of "Azure-Te." Sauter and Finegan also made full use of the capabilities of the studio; much of this music has hi-fi demo disc written all over it. Though the jazz elements are held by a tight rein in these charts, the sounds are so seductive that you don't miss the lack of solos.

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