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Jazz - Released June 22, 2018 | Sunnyside

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In 2018 big bands aren’t the most publicised type of formation anymore. And there doesn’t seem to be much interest in launching onto a path that, in the last century, was taken by giants who revolutionised jazz language. But trumpeter Michael Leonhardt is bold enough to walk in the footsteps of Gil Evans, Mel Lewis/Thad Jones, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones and Carla Bley. With his Michael Leonhart Orchestra (MLO), he even makes a very personal contribution to the genre. “When creating MLO, my idea was to get an all-star mix of soloists, ensemble players and pocket-players who would be as comfortable playing Mingus and Ellington as they would be playing Wu-Tang and Fela Kuti!” Members of the Village Vanguard Orchestra and Maria Schneider’s big-band orchestra rub shoulders with contributors of the very funky Dap-Kings and Menahan Street Band, as well as masters of afrobeat revival Antibalas! An insane cast for an insane repertoire featuring the Beastie Boys, Frank Zappa and Bernard Herrmann! Leonhardt expands the typical configuration of jazz big bands with atypical instruments such as the bassoon, the accordion, the harmonica and strings. All in all, a 360° vision of music is nothing surprising from Leonhardt, who has worked with highly diverse people from Steely Dan to Mark Ronson, as well as Bruno Mars, A Tribe Called Quest, Arto Lindsay, Bill Frisell, Bill Withers, Bobby McFerrin, Bonnie Raitt, Brian Eno, Busta Rhymes, Caetano Veloso, DJ Spooky, David Byrne, James Brown, John Barry, Joshua Redman, Lenny Kravitz, Levon Helm, Michael McDonald, Mos Def, Natalie Merchant, Raekwon from the Wu-Tang Clan, Slash from Guns N’Roses, Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, Todd Rundgren, Wynton Marsalis and Yoko Ono… For this album released in June 2018, Michael Leonhardt authored a superb suite titled The Painted Lady Suite. A work divided in two migratory waves, which draw a sonic parallel between two separate migrations, one over North America into Canada and the other from the Arctic Circle over Europe into Northern Africa. His music reflects climate changes and the atmosphere of these important population movements. In addition to its jazz heritage, the MLO looks towards the musical universes of Ennio Morricone, Quincy Jones, David Axelrod, Henry Mancini and Nino Rota. Puzzling at first, this suite is wonderful in its interlacing of textures carried by saxophonists Donny McCaslin and Sam Sadigursky, guitarist Nels Cline, trombonist Ray Mason and trumpet player Dave Guy. A kaleidoscopic array completed with three themes previously written by Leonhardt for this orchestra. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released August 30, 2019 | Sunnyside

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Jazz - Released May 11, 2018 | Sunnyside

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