International Premiere in Jazz

John Graas / The John Graas West Coast Allstar Jazz Ninetet

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International Premiere in Jazz Review

by Scott Yanow

John Graas was a multi-talented French horn player not shy to take chances in both his solos and his writing. On this V.S.O.P. CD reissue of two sessions for Andex, Graas performs his 17-and-a-half-minute three-part "Jazz Chaconne No. 1" and four alternate takes with a nonet including altoist Art Pepper, trumpeter Jack Sheldon, and flutist Buddy Collette. In addition, Graas' four-movement "Jazz Symphony No. 1" is played by the Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra with guest soloists taken from the Erwin Lehn band (German musicians who have remained quite obscure). The lack of liner notes is unfortunate, for it would have been interesting to hear what John Graas' goals were in writing this music. Overall, the performances hold one's attention, particularly the "Jazz Chaconne." This CD is recommended to adventurous listeners.

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