The Revolutions cd is a Jim Beard led project with collaboaration from Vince Mendoza and the Dutch based Metropole Orchestra. Mendoza and Beard reviewed Beard’ s previous releases and compiled a short list of material for the Metropole Orchestra to play. In the liner notes, Beard shrewdly points out that working with such a large outfit, the pressure is on to perform - a single mistake and the whole 90 piece orchestra needs to do it again.
The orchestra does a fine job of adhering to the compositions and respecting the piece. Guest soloists include Bill Evans, Jon Herington , Bob Malach and Jim Beard among others. Special credit must be given to Marcio Doctor for his variety of percussive flavours. The large orchestra adds depth and fullness to the sound, yet the large instrumentation never seems to hide the trademark idiosyncrasy of Beard’ s writing and arrangements.
Unfortunately masterpieces like "Ode To The Do Da Day" and the more obscure classic "In The Hat" are not given the big band orchestra treatment. A quick study of Jim Beard’ s discography and this set list shows his superior skill in the role of composer, performer, arranger, producer and his devotion to originality, imagination and excellence.