The Beau Hunks are the foremost transcribers of eclectic jazz and classical music. They perform their expert arrangements on period instruments. The Modern American Music of Ferde Grofé is a grand-scale reproduction of the original compositions as written for Paul Whiteman's Dance Band. Grofé's music was called symphonic jazz (so was George Gershwin's). Grofé arranged his jazz compositions for symphonic performances. Those are the transcriptions that are most recognizable. (Most baby boomers will associate "On the Trail" from The Grand Canyon Suite with Elmer Fudd prospecting for gold as Bugs Bunny harasses him.) Sadly, this is a live recording and only "Cloudburst" from the suite was deemed fit for release. These symphonic jazz pieces are full of deep atmospheres and splendid humor. It is a great reminder of what a great orchestra can do with great material. The minimalism is absolutely ethereal as well. This CD, like all Beau Hunks CDs, is essential.
AllMusic Review by Jim Brenholts