Brigham Young University Synthesis

Live at Montreux

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Live at Montreux Review

by Scott Yanow

In addition to its impressive musicianship, Brigham Young University Synthesis stands apart from most other college big bands due to its diverse and inventive arrangements. On this set, live from the 1996 Montreux Jazz Festival, the 20-piece orchestra (directed by Ray Smith) performs a program ranging from "Sing, Sing, Sing" (which has Smith featured on clarinet), to pieces by Miles Davis ("All Blues"), Sammy Nestico, Bob Mintzer, Pat Metheny, and Dizzy Gillespie. Even with all of the changes in styles, the band and its soloists adapt themselves quite well. Among the individual stars of this easily recommended big-band set are tenor saxophonist Mike Vance, trumpeter Brent Durland, and guitarist Joshua Payne.

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