Jessika Smith Big Band: Tricks of Light

Here’s a forward thinking big band lead by composer, producer and saxist Jessika Smith. The orchestra includes 5 saxes, 5 trumpets, 4 trombones and a 5 team rhythm section for the eight originals and cover of “If I Loved You.” Of that tune, Steve Treseler’s tenor gets bluesy over some crisp drumming by Sean Peterson while originals such as the bluesy and  loosely Mingusy “Swan” include Treseler’s tenor along with Dave Glenn’s brawling  trombone and Vern Sielert/s trumpet. Smith’s soprano cries out in the open and mysterious desert on  the exotic “The Viper” and some Gil Evansish horn textures and hues team up with Torrey Hewhart’s piano and Tony Glausi’s trumpet on “Light.”

Besides sophisticated harmonies, the band shows that it can swing like they’re on the corner of 12th and Vine on the Kansas City tapper “Buddy’s Blues” , and “Danza Del Alma” cruises like a low rider. Lots of stuff for fans of the big bands here.

PJCE Records

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