Resonance Big Band: Hymn to Freedom/John Brown's Body
Medley: Hymn to Freedom/John Brown's Body
Resonance Big Band
Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson (Resonance Records)
Bob Sheppard, Steve Wilkerson, Brian Scanlon, Keith Fiddmont, Tom Peterson (reeds, flute), Willie Murillo, Larry Lunetta, Bob Summers, Larry Hall (trumpets), Andy Martin, Bob McChesney, Wendell Kelly (trombones).
Bill Cunliffe (arranger/conductor). Composed by Oscar Peterson.
Recorded: Los Angeles, California, 2009
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
On May 12, Resonance Records released its long-awaited tribute to Oscar Peterson. In his ongoing fight to preserve mainstream jazz as a viable, contemporary art form, studio head George Klabin has produced a stunning album, a summit meeting which may prove to be his Angincourt. Leading the charge is the astounding Romanian-born pianist Marian Petrescu, an avid disciple of Peterson, who sadly passed into history in 2007.
Opening with a reverent, gospel-tinged stride piano, Petrescu's solo interpretation of "Hymn to Freedom" is gradually supported with reeds and flute. Driven by the solid back beat of LaBarbera, the full band swings a bluesy "John Brown's Body," with soulful, Petersonesque improvisation from Petrescu and an enthusiastic, over-the-top scat guitar solo from Öberg. Trombones trade fours before the whole ensemble takes its final chorus. The superb arrangement by Bill Cunliffe is lively, listenable and uplifting — the kind of big band jazz which used to rule the airwaves and may yet again, if George Klabin wins his campaign. Once more into the breach, my friends!
Reviewer: Bill Barnes