Daniel Jamieson writes and arranges for a big band, but the style of his jazz writing has far too many twists and turns to be a strictly swinging affair. Even when compared to, say, Dave Holland, the compositions on Jamieson’s debut with the Danjam Orchestra are so thick and complicated that it will be a challenge for some listeners to get to a tune’s core. Strangely enough, a song called “Calming” bears these intriguing hallmarks. The soloists that Jamieson has assembled are all ace musicians, and the boppier passages almost make you forget this is a big band affair. However, when the tall horn arrangements come through, they aren’t afraid to take a more atonal route. The Danjam Orchestra certain has its work cut out in forging big band music of the cerebral variety. If Sudden Appearance is of any indication, it looks like the Orchestra and Jamieson are in it for the long haul.
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// Notes from the Road
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