Note: Voting ends Oct 10!
GRAMMY Awards® Voters, find and vote for the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra in the BEST LARGE JAZZ ENSEMBLE ALBUM category for their fascinating version of Peter & the Wolf, which “tears up the rulebook in the best possible way. Unreservedly recommended,” BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE by Roger Thomas ★★★★★ as well as an entry in the BEST ARRANGEMENT, INSTRUMENTAL or A CAPPELLA category for Tommy Smith’s orchestration of Prokofieff’s masterpiece Peter & the Wolf, “Aesthetically and artistically, a jazz version of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf is a risky venture. But hats-off to Tommy Smith and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra for pulling off this convincing jazz corollary.” JAZZWISE by Stuart Nicholson
No. 1 Amazon.com Hot New Releases
The Scotsman ★★★★★BEBOP SPOKEN HERE ★★★★★
SOUTHSIDE ADVERTISER ★★★★★BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE ★★★★★
The WEE REVIEW ★★★★★JAZZWISE ★★★★REVIEW SPHERE ★★★★★
Narrator: Tam Dean Burn
Text: Liz Lochhead
Special guest pianist: Makoto Ozone
Conductor: Tommy Smith
Artwork: Nadja von Massow
(Recorded live at the Queens Hall, Edinburgh. Released 26th January 2019)
A sparkling, new, jazz version of Prokofieff’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’ by the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO) is among the entries in 62nd Grammys. This innovative work features original arrangements, lively orchestrations, and musically descriptive passages. Listen out particularly for the great ‘Triumphal Parade’, which vividly celebrates the capture of the wolf.
Smith’s version of Prokofieff’s Peter and the Wolf is designed to introduce young people to a jazz orchestra, yet it remains true to the original premise of the piece. Particular instruments are allocated to each character in the story, while Prokofieff’s wonderful imagery is both preserved and thematically developed. The narrative energy of ‘Peter and the Wolf’ is uniquely presented on this album in vibrant Scots language with evocative music from an award-winning jazz ensemble.
The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO) is considered by many to be one of Europe’s foremost contemporary big bands.
Founder/Director Tommy Smith established the SNJO in 1995 as a not-for-profit organization with a crystal clear artistic vision and core values of versatility, discipline, and expression. The SNJO is dedicated to promoting jazz as a pre-eminent art form through performances, original compositions, recordings, and educational outreach programs. This commitment extends to the task of developing promising young jazz musicians through the ranks of The Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra.
It should, therefore, come as no surprise that many of the leading lights in world jazz have enthusiastically shared the stage with the SNJO. Artists like Cleo Laine, John Scofield, Gary Burton, Bobby Watson, Mike Stern, David Liebman, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Bill Evans, Kenny Wheeler, Gary Novak, Arild Andersen, Peter Erskine, Kurt Elling, Makoto Ozone, Maria Schnieder, Benny Golson, Joe Locke, Bob Mintzer, and Randy Brecker have all joined the orchestra to explore virtually every room in the house of the jazz.
The SNJO repertoire has included re-imaginings of works by the great, the good and the gigantic, including Weather Report, Parker, Brubeck, Herman, Rich, Strayhorn, Goodman, Kenton, Basie, Gillespie, Mingus, Corea, Monk, Waller, Jobim, Metheny, Shorter, Mozart, St. Saens, Miles and Coltrane. They have also recorded vivid interpretations of Gershwin and Ellington to rave reviews, alongside a remarkable re-reading of Miles Ahead, an ECM-tinted set on Celebration and Tommy Smith’s suites, Torah, World of the Gods, Planet Wave, Beauty & the Beast, and Spirit of Light. The SNJO has also built a growing library of original compositions underpinned by a deep understanding and appreciation of improvisation.