Born in France but a resident of New York since 1991, Magali Souriau is an inventive arranger-composer whose big-band writing sounds unlike anyone else. All of the arrangements on this CD are hers and, other than Thelonious Monk's "Ask Me Now," so are all of the songs. One can think of Maria Schneider and Bill Holman when hearing the dense ensembles and multiple simultaneous events, but Souriau's music sounds quite individual. Although she plays piano on two songs, Souriau has Aaron Goldberg take care of most of the keyboard work while she conducts the band. The music is complex yet tonal, unpredictable yet often quite melodic, with the ensemble taking precedent over any individual solos. An intriguing and memorable set.
Birdland Sessions Review
by Scott Yanow