Exposé Online banner

Beats & Pieces Big Band — Ten
(Efpi FP029, 2018, CD+DVD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-02-07

Ten Cover art

The Ten of the album title refers to the number of years since the founding of Beats & Pieces Big Band by Ben Cotrell. In that time, they’ve only released two albums, but they’ve established themselves as one of the most innovative groups with this configuration out there. To commemorate the tenth anniversary of their first performance, they convened in the same location and recorded this live performance. Five of the ten tracks are taken from their two previous albums, with the other five being new to this release. Cotrell acts as director and chief composer-arranger, but does not play on the album himself. Cotrell’s arrangements are brought to life by a more-or-less standard Big Band lineup, with three trumpets (Owen Bryce, Graham South, Nick Walters), three trombones (Richard Foote, Simon Lodge, Rich McVeigh), and three saxes (Anthony Brown, Oliver Dover, Tom Ward), along with a rhythm section consisting of Anton Hunter (guitar), Richard Jones (keyboards), Stewart Wilson (bass), and Finlay Panter (drums). But the music they play is far from standard Big Band fare, resembling the innovative sounds of groups like Jaga Jazzist, Worldservice Project, and Snarky Puppy more than anything from the swing era. They’re not afraid of electronics, odd meters, or other modern touches, and there’s a great variety in moods and colors. There are some densely orchestrated passages of complex interacting parts, there are periods of floating ambient tones, there are great riffs with slinky grooves, there are wild blowouts, nods to electronic dance music, and much more, all delivered in a way that flows well without being predictable. This group is a true successor to the great United Jazz + Rock Ensemble and larger incarnations of Ian Carr’s Nucleus, and a peer of the contemporary groups mentioned earlier. Check them out for a taste of how the Big Band, a type of ensemble that’s been around nearly a century, can be fresh and exciting in today’s world.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Beats & Pieces Big Band

More info
http://music.beatsnpieces.net/album/ten

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Graham Collier - Workpoints – Keith Tippett and ian Carr may be better known, but they were far from the only active jazz practitioners in Britain in the late 60s and early 70s. Bassist Graham Collier was another part of this...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues