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Peter Hand Big Band: Hand Painted Dream

Veteran jazz guitarist and arranger Peter Hand’s new disc is titled Hand Painted Dream. For the album Peter has assembled an exceptional band including Jay Brandford (lead alto, soprano, flute), Bruce Williams (alto), Don Braden (tenor, flute), Ralph Lalama (tenor, clarinet), Kenny Berger (baritone, bass clarinet), James Weidman (piano), Camille Thurman (vocal on track #3, tenor saxophone on track #5), Harvie S (electric bass on track #5) and Steve Johns (drums). Other musicians add saxophones, reeds, trombones as well as The Secret String Quartet (violins and cello) conducted by Joshua Shneider. Truly an impressive cast of musicians, twenty-two in total.

The album is a mixture of originals and classic standards beginning with the Charlie Parker penned “Yardbird Suite”. Hand’s arrangement adds vitality and joy with some fine sax and trumpet solos added for good measure. The song exudes an upbeat and raucous sound. Big band jazz fans should absolutely love this. Tenor, soprano and trumpet lay down some beautiful lines in the romantic “Island of the Heart” while the title track is a Hand original and a bopping good time. Sax, clarinet and flute fill in the gaps as the groove gently flows brimming with good vibes and the guitar solo laid down by Hand is excellent. The soft and dreamy Tadd Dameron penned “If You Could See Me Now” is coloured by the wonderful vocals of Camille Thurman, another highlight. The album ends with “Mr. P.C./Cousin Mary”, a couple of Coltrane classic bluesy pieces melded together and the result is really quite stunning. An excellent example of ensemble play. The sax solo spots are very impressive.

Peter Hand’s exceptional guitar work and arranging skills, allowing Hand to get every ounce of music from his band, adds just the right amount of vibrancy and colour to these nine tracks. An impressive work to say the least and highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Yardbird Suite (5:36)
2. Island of the Heart (7:24)
3. If You Could See Me Now (6:59)
4. Berkshire Blues (6:55)
5. Calypsiana (6:08)
6. Hand Painted Dream (5:51)
7. Brazilian Emerald (7:12)
8. Once Upon a Time (8:09)
9. Mr. P.C./Cousin Mary (5:19)

Added: March 4th 2020
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 942
Language: english

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