Big Band

Jack Bradley Collection, Louis Armstrong House Museum

Describing Louis Armstrong biographer Ricky Riccardi as merely enthusiastic about Satchmo would be a gross understatement. It’s easier to say he’s dedicated his professional career to setting—and resetting—Armstrong’s historic life to record.

August 17, 2020. A group of musicians from a place called Hell’s Kitchen exhorting you to smile might seem a little presumptuous in times like these. Then again, what do you have to lose?

June 8, 2020. From founding the Captain Black Big Band in 2009 to replacing Ethan Iverson as The Bad Plus’s pianist in 2018, Philadelphia native Orrin Evans has never shied away from taking a leap into the musical unknown.

U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Josh Kowalsky

May 18, 2020. The Airmen of Note are at it again—this time as the historic band celebrates 70 years of dazzling audiences worldwide with the commemorative release, Air Power. Be it live tour performances or special broadcasts, The United States Air Force Band's big band jazz ensemble continues to make its music accessible to everyone.

Master Sgt. Josh Kowalsky

May 20, 2019. The Airmen of Note is the award-winning jazz ensemble of the U.S. Air Force Band. With Global Reach, their fourth new album in as many years, the ‘Note’ truly goes global, featuring arrangements of traditional Irish and Korean folk tunes, along with breezy, beachy sambas, and—just for good measure—a Beatles cover.

January 28, 2019. Ralph Peterson, Jr. has played protégé to a couple of seriously fine mentors—first his dad, then Art Blakey. With the debut album from Peterson’s GenNext Big Band, titled I Remember Bu, Peterson shows that even when paying homage to an old master, he’s all about paying it forward to mentor the next generation of great jazzers.

Concord Jazz

September 17, 2018. Despite the passing of Count Basie in 1984, the Count Basie Orchestra has remained one of the elite performing organizations in jazz. Now under the direction of Scotty Barnhart, the orchestra, partly comprised of musicians hired by Basie himself, has released All About That Basie to celebrate 80 years of swinging.