Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra, MTO Vol. 1, Sunnyside

Steven Bernstein always seems to be doing something interesting, whether it's covering (kind of) James Bond movie tunes with Sex Mob or woking as an arranger and trumpeter for modernists like Mario Pavone or Bobby Previte.

I like his Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra idea and "MTO, Vol. 1" so much that I gave it to a couple people as a holiday present. The concept (and execution) is a modern updating of the pre-World War II proto-swing territory band sound, think Andy Kirk and his Clouds of Joy or Bennie Moten, which makes for an upbeat and fun session since territorty bands existed to get people's feet moving on the dance floor.

Nonetheless, some of this borders on the avant-garde, but not so much that I thought my friends who wouldn't touch avant-garde jazz with a 10-foot pole wouldn't like it. I hope for more from this group.

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