This disc contains a program which features five tracks drawn from the University of Miami's award-winning Concert Jazz Band archives of the nineties, followed by the debut of a three part suite composed specifically for the CJB by Maria Schneider.
The CJB is one of the premier university jazz ensembles, winners of 16 Downbeat
magazine DB awards in their 36 year history. A popular attraction on the international festival circuit, they have flourished under the direction of Whit Sidener and continue to be recognized as one of the best college big bands. This outstanding recording can only enhance that well deserved reputation.
The unit which performs the "Three Romances" suite is 21 pieces strong. Details aren't provided for the archival recordings, but based on the power of the performances, that seems to be a typical number of players. This is a big band with a big sound, but the arrangements are crafted in a fashion that's commanding without becoming overwhelming.
The suite itself draws inspiration from Brazilian and European themes, and Schneider worked extensively with the musicians to create arrangements that matched her vision and their capacities. The result is a marvelous piece of new music that will doubtless be mined by the young musicians for many years, and will provide pleasure and inspiration to every listener.