Kenichi Tsunoda Big Band

For J.G

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Arranger Kenichi Tsunoda's big band has been one of the top jazz orchestras in Japan since its formation in 1990. This set is particularly impressive for the wide range of the arrangements, the band's musicianship, and the individual solos. "Be Bop" is given a rapid treatment worthy of Jon Faddis, "My Favorite Things" has two heated soprano saxophonists (Yuji Kawamura and Tatsuya Sato) trading off at its climax, and altoist Hideo Oyama sounds very close to Johnny Hodges on "Memories of Duke." Also quite memorable are an explosive "For J.G.," an unusual jazz waltz version of "Shiny Stockings," and rollicking renditions of "Donna Lee" and "Night Train." Despite the lack of name recognition in the United States, the Kenichi Tsunoda Big Band should greatly interest fans of modern jazz orchestras.

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