Orchestre National de Jazz of France releases an album that needs to be heard rather than read about. Get it while the getting's good.
Bland music may cause the listener to come up short on adjectives, but exceptional music can totally rob your mouth of convenient genre names and labels. The latter is what's going on with Orchestre National de Jazz's Shut Up and Dance project, a sideways nod to modern big band featuring the compositions of John Hollenbeck. Under the current direction of Daniel Yvinec, this French ensemble tailor-fits each tribute it takes on, and Shut Up and Dance is all the more inspiring for being all over the map. Modes, moods and chops are plentiful as only superb writing and arranging will allow. It may be technically described as big band homage, but this recording is tied to nothing. And if there is any justice in the world, this album will make everyone forget about Paula Abdul's album of the same name.