If you own some of the best records of the Stan Getz quartet or you dig the great jazz orchestras, then there is a good chance that you have heard--or better still--felt Jim McNeely's touch before. Either way, if you want to learn more about some of the jazz giants that McNeely has backed on piano, including Getz, Chet Baker, Ted Curson, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and Joe Henderson, as well as the jazz composing and arranging process, then you have certainly hit the right button to get to the right page.
Involved in writing and arranging for quite a few big band projects since the 1990s, McNeely was recently appointed artist-in-residence with the Hessian Radio Big Band in Frankfurt, Germany, following intensive collaborations with the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra, the Metropole Orchestra (Netherlands), the West German Radio (WDR) Big Band and the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra. This year he will also be working with the Orquestra de Jazz de Matosinhos, from Portugal.
The one million dollar question seems to be: why is he working mainly with European bands? AAJ contributor Joao Moreira dos Santos spoke with McNeely to find out the answer to that question, and much, much more.
Check out Jim McNeely: On the Up and Up at AAJ today!
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