Maria Schneider: The 'Pretty' Road
The Pretty Road
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Sky Blue (ArtistShare 0065)
Steve Wilson (reeds), Charles Pillow (reeds), Rich Perry (reeds), Donny McCaslin (reeds), Scott Robinson (reeds), Tony Kadleck (trumpet, flugelhorn), Jason Carder (trumpet, flugelhorn), Laurie Frink (trumpet, flugelhorn), Ingrid Jensen (trumpet, flugelhorn), Keith O'Quinn (trombone), Ryan Keberle (trombone), Marshall Gilkes (trombone), George Flynn (bass trombone, contrabass trombone), Ben Monder (guitar), Frank Kimbrough (piano), Jay Anderson (bass), Clarence Penn (drums), Gary Versace (accordion), Luciana Souza (vocals).
Composed, arranged and conducted by Maria Schneider.
Recorded: New York, January 6-9, 2007
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
Maria Schneider continues to impress with her 13-minute "The 'Pretty' Road" from her Sky Blue CD. Frank Kimbrough's solo piano introduction, taken out of tempo, states Schneider's bittersweet melody. Horns enter unobtrusively and gradually take over the melody, first with delicacy, and then with large, grandiloquent gestures. By the time we are in the midst of Ingrid Jensen's passionate solo, the lush landscape of the 'pretty' road is flashing by the windows of our family station wagon (the childhood inspiration for Schneider's composition), and we are certain that we are nearing our destination. But Schneider now surprises us with a dramatic change in tone and mood, taking us for a side trip through four minutes of shimmering, pointillistic horn-writing. This is a real aural treat. But the main melody returns, like a familiar lover, and sweeps us up in a long embrace. The coda is a delight. Pretty? That, my friends, is an understatement.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia
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Tags: big band