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Big bands haven't been mainstream for decades, but they're still with us. Alex Stewart's Making the Scene, a fascinating discussion of contemporary big-band music, lists 86 groups based in New York City alone--and Stewart says the list is incomplete. Managing a big band is difficult, and they rarely earn their members a living wage. So why are there so many? Well, jazz musicians often dig the sound—and the challenge of sitting alongside knowledgeable peers while reading new charts. Composer/arra

For ten years, saxophonist/pianist and GRAMMY-winning composer/arranger Gordon Goodwin has been driving a train that won't stop. He first assembled his Big Phat Band in 2000 – an ironic starting point for an 18-piece big band, given that the fleeting neo-swing craze of the late 1990s was just winding down. But Goodwin and his crew have always been the real deal, and have always been in it for the long haul. In the decade since their ambitious beginnings, the Big Phat Band has burned up stages and studios with an eclectic, intelligent and high-energy brand of music that marries the best elements of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, John Barry and other big-band and orchestral jazz giants of the past 70 years."There's a significant segment of the population – and some are just high school kids – who inherited an appreciation for this music from their parents or their grandparents," says Goodwin. "They don't necessarily consider themselves jazz fans, but they find this music to be accessible without being highbrow or elitist. The inspiration behind this record is very simple, and very much in line with that of our previous records. We make music that sounds good to us, and it does seem to resonate with a lot of people."

Composer and arranger Gordon Goodwin certainly has an impressive resume.  A 2006 GRAMMY Award winner for his arrangement of 'Incredits' from the Pixar film The Incredibles, Gordon has also enjoyed eleven more Grammy nominations and picked up three Emmy Awards along the way.  Not only that, since 2000, Goodwin has been the driving force behind his own creation Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band and when recently I talked with him from his studio in Los Angeles I was interested to know what had been his motivation for beginning what has now evolved into a modern day big band phenomenon.

Swingadelic is the New York City Metropolitan Area’s greatest "little big band" that delivers the traditional big band music of Ellington, Basie an...

Wave Mechanics Union is a creative collaboration formed by composers Ryan Fraley and Ralph Johnson, and vocalist Lydia McAdams. Along with a large ...

Alto sax legend Bud Shank’s first big band release features exciting arrangements from Bob Cooper, Manny Albam, Mike Barone, and Bob Florence. This...
Back in 1939, Gerald Wilson joined the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra as a trumpet soloist and an arranger. 66 years later, Wilson is still very activ...
Big bands haven't been mainstream for decades, but they're still with us. Alex Stewart's Making the Scene, a fascinating discussion of contemporary big-band music…
Mike Barone, big band leader, composer, arranger and trombonist, notes on the jacket of his fifth Big Band album as leader, Flight Of The Bumblebee "Rimsky-Korsakov …
Dave Rivello wrote and arranged this session's material, and album notes by Bob Brookmeyer, a respected veteran of the big-band wars, give him immediate credibility. Riv…