GRP All-Star Big Band
With ‘all-star’ bands there’s a danger not so much that the ‘stars’ will be vying for prominence – they don’t have to do this because they are already stars and listeners are well aware of their abilities – but rather they will ‘under-perform’ so as not to appear arrogant amongst their peers. The result: a bland performance. However, neither of these scenarios is true for the 1992 recording of the GRP All-Star Big Band. What we hear is a band that really is the best of the best. Not only is the playing outstanding, the musical arrangements are exceptional too. The introduction to the jazz standard ’Round Midnight is very nicely done, and the scoring of a bass clarinet in an arrangement of Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage is particularly creative, working surprisingly well.
Among the all-stars are: David Grusin, Lee Ritenour, Gary Burton, Ernie Watts, Arturo Sandoval, Kenny Kirkland, and more, all players that are either signed to, or closely associated with, the GRP record label.
The record quality of this album is extremely good; in fact I would go as far as to say that it’s hard to imagine a better quality recording of a big band.