Renowned Nevada-based Floridian composer, author, and teacher, Henry Wolking follows up his recent and miraculous IN SEA, with a Big Round Records re-release of POWELL CANYONS: AND OTHER ORCHESTRAL JAZZ WORKS. First released in 2000 by MMC Recordings, this stunning and effervescent album of orchestral jazz compositions is a quintessential key to understanding Wolking’s work and nature inspired aesthetic.
Fusion lovers will enjoy the PARMA recordings debut of oboist Margaret Herlehy in this fresh, new collection of Latin-inspired jazz. Uniquely, oboe is the central instrument in each composition. Herlehy not only meets the demands of such a challenge but exceeds them.
Exuberant and exciting is the Big Round Records debut of big band pianist and composer Ron Paley. This is not “just another pops album.” Paley’s work is cool, clever, and ridiculously fun. Seven of the ten tracks on THE MORE YOU KNOW are completely composed, arranged, and performed by Ron Paley.
Concert pianist and composer Michael Arnowitt, assisted by ImproVisions Jazz, makes his Big Round Records debut with SWEET SPONTANEOUS, the title drawn from a poem by e.e.cummings. This two-disc jazz album features 14 of Arnowitt’s own compositions with the composer himself at the piano, joined by a dozen jazz notables including Yosvany Terry on alto sax, Lucas Pino on tenor sax, Dave Smith on trumpet, and Colin Stranahan on drums.
Composer and pianist Kenneth Kuhn, after finding the music he wanted to hear did not exist, strove to bring his own musical visions to life. The result, PIANO WORKS OF KENNETH KUHN, is a cathartic journey through the memories and imagination of the composer. Romantic in quality, thematic, memorable, and deeply moving, Kuhn’s latest work leaves listeners feeling enriched and enchanted.
A BISSEL RHYTHM is composer and clarinetist Paul Green’s PARMA Recordings debut, although it marks his second recorded exploration into the fusion between jazz and Jewish music. A performance at Merkin Concert Hall resulted in the New York Times extolling his talents: “Like a cobra intent on doing some charming of its own, the clarinetist Paul Green weaved, darted and hovered over his instrument…conjuring gorgeous sounds.”
Even though the tracks on BIRTH OF A CITY are loosely grouped by their titles, the recording is very much a concept album. Haney, himself an accomplished pianist who also studied composition, scored the pieces for a kind of string quartet (violin – viola – cello – double bass), interspersed by varying quantities of brass instruments and percussion. Naturally, as one would expect from this kind of music, all works are scored with exactitude – for the most part, that is. Remarkably, Haney grants the performers a great amount of improvisatory freedom – indubitably owing to his own background in jazz, the genre which definitely and definitively shines through in all his compositions.
As a composer, Joseph T. Spaniola has written works for band, chamber ensembles, orchestra, solo instruments, voice, choir, and electronic tape. That astonishing versatility is on full display on ESCAPADE, his first release with Big Round Records. ESCAPADE opens with its title track, performed by The US Air Force Academy Band, which launches into an unrestrained musical exploration inspired by the composition’s first four pitches.
On TO ONE, Croatian-born Lela Kaplowitz delivers a collection of songs that expressively hearken back to the singer/songwriter era of the 1970s, reviving the spirit of such ground-breaking artists as Carole King, Laura Nyro, and Roberta Flack. Kaplowitz, who has been lauded by jazz vocal legend Sheila Jordan as “an extremely talented vocalist” and Bobby McFerrin as having a “wonderful voice,” presents a nuanced mélange of pop, soul, jazz, and even folk music on TO ONE.
Described by critics as “beyond category, to use Duke Ellington’s signature compliment” (All About Jazz), Japanese marimba extraordinaire Mika Stoltzman brings her wealth of experience to her latest “Mikarimba” album, Big Round Records’ TAPEREBÁ. Vibrant and bursting with flavor (just like the Brazilian fruit which the album derives its title from), the jazzy TAPEREBÁ features performances by Stoltzman and a circle of legendary fellow artists. With over 25 Grammy Awards shared between the members on this record, a memorable listening experience is practically guaranteed.
New from Big Round Records comes jazz composer and pianist Paul English’s GIRL IN GREEN. The album features never-before-heard renditions of immortal classics as well as English’s original works. Listen as English and his cadre of masterful soloists carve a place for themselves in jazz history.
AMBIENCE is Big Round Records’ latest release from composer Joe Hume. After a decade of working exclusively as a professional pianist, Hume has returned to composing in a big way with this compelling 11-track album of airy original solo piano pieces.
Composer and songwriter Elaine Freeman and Big Round Records present LA SPERANZA, a careful selection of piano music, composed by ear, memory and touch without sheet music. Not quite classical, not quite pop, these pieces have the ability to appeal to both the casual listener and fans of musical minimalism.
Fresh from Big Round Records comes the Cotatcha Orchestra’s BIGBANDOVÁ ELEKTRONIKA/BIGBAND ELECTRONICS. As its name suggests, this unprecedented album pairs original big band music with electronic music, concocting a sound—and perhaps even a brand new genre—that listeners have never heard before.
If variety is the spice of life, A DIFFERENT TAKE adds a bowlful of zest to the idea of standard repertoire. On their debut album, the Gruca White Ensemble’s creative programming and energetic performance lead listeners on a journey through intermingled genres and out-of-the-box renditions of well-known tunes.
Big Round Records presents the first of three albums by “Mr. Music of Memphis,” Berl Olswanger, featuring tunes by Duke Ellington, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter, and more. From pop standards and jazz ditties to good old-fashioned polka, pianist Berl Olswanger wrested command of just about every style.
I AM NOT A VIRUS from composer Jordan VanHemert and Big Round Records, is a collection of contemporary music uniquely fitting for this unprecedented juncture in human history. Called an "excellent outing" by jazz historian Scott Yanow, the collection of lively, piano-driven jazz band performances takes inspiration from a wide swath of timely subjects—everything from the coronavirus pandemic to racially charged police killings and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests of 2020.
Berl Olswanger returns for a second installment of timeless archival recordings on Big Round Records, with BERL OLSWANGER AT PEPPER RECORDS, a collection of tunes recorded during the late-50’s golden era of the Memphis record business. Olswanger hit the state-of-the-art studios at Pepper Records to record 10 songs by William “Pat” Best, Floyd Huddleston, Olswanger himself, and more.
Since its inception in 2006, the B-Side Band has become the premiere professional big band in the city of Brno in the Czech Republic. Now, under the direction of bandleader Josef Buchta, the band presents its newest album: MISSA JAZZ. In this latest work, the B-Side Band is joined by Chamber Orchestra Brno and the Ars Brunensis chamber choir; together, they perform Jaromír Hnilička’s Missa Jazz. As its name suggests, the work is a complete Mass, and the score for its first iteration is held at the Vatican Library. Now, the original composition has been expanded to include a chamber orchestra and several new choral parts, resulting in a total reimagining of the work. First debuted in the fall of 2008, this album is the first-ever studio recording of the final expanded version of the Missa Jazz.
Blues and big band lovers are in for a swingin' treat with Big Round Records' new archival recording of BERL OLSWANGER AND THE OLSWANGER BEAT, the label’s third released recording by “Mr. Music of Memphis." Olswanger, whose musical career spanned over a half-century, could easily be called a jack-of-all-trades: a popular bandleader, a prolific composer of swing music, a serial entrepreneur, and a wildly successful teacher bringing the art of music-making to the masses.