Gordon Goodwin: Big Band’S Pied Piper


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As leader of the 18-piece Big Phat Band, Grammy- and three-time Emmy-winning bandleader-composer-arranger-instrumentalist-conductor-instructor Gordon Goodwin is Big Band’s Pied Piper at the wave of a new tradition. With an energy that’s palpable and infectious, he’s connecting with a young audience that’s clamoring for more.

As the New York Times wrote: “An excited throng of students treated these jazz musicians like pop stars, screaming their approval.” Part of that adoration stems from their familiarity with Goodwin’s compositions as a staple of most scholastic band repertoire nationwide. In fact, he’s one of the key players bringing up the next generation of studio musicians.

In case you missed it, Act Your Age – the latest album from Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band – is making critics take note of Goodwin’s gift for witty, intricate compositions and thrilling arrangements. Musicians from Mel Torm to Ray Charles to Christina Aguilera have been hip to this for a while, and now the world is starting to wake up to it.

DownBeat, Jazz Times and Jazziz top the list of great reviews the new CD/DVD package is getting.

This excerpt from the SmoothJazz.com review says it all:

“The guest list on the recording reads like a Who’s Who of instrumentalists, with Ritenour, Chick Corea, Dave Grusin and Eric Marienthal leading the pack. Patti Austin works her vocal magic on an incredible arrangement of Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘September.’ If you can stay still in your seat for these 4 ½ minutes, you need to get the Q-tips out and clean the wax from your ears! ACT YOUR AGE is twelve tracks of exhilaration, anticipation and awe-inspiring musicianship. ... After a recent show, legendary arranger/composer Johnny Mandel told Goodwin, ‘You are where Big Band writing is today.’”

Listen to tracks from Act Your Age here

And here are some key dates where you can catch the Big Phat Band in the next few months:

  • Dec 16 Jazz Bakery, Culver City, CA
  • Dec 31 Omaha Performing Arts Center, Omaha, NE
  • Feb 13 Walt Disney Concert Hall with Patti Austin, Los Angeles, CA
  • Feb 21 Friends University, Wichita, KS
  • Mar 5-7 Chabot College Jazz Festival (Bay Area, CA; Gordon only)
  • Mar 12 CA Jazz Convention, Ontario Convention Center, Ontario, Canada (TBC)
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