Asian-American baritone saxophonist Fred Ho has been a champion of freedom and expressionism in modern creative jazz for some time. A continuing battle with cancer has inspired him to assemble the Green Monster Big Band, with reference to the famed left-field wall at Fenway Park in Boston, but more directly related to the huge sound and diverse ideas this juggernaut ensemble represents. Ho is influenced by the '60s big bands, television or movie themes, and the psychedelic rock he grew up with, all present on this ambitious program.
Grapefruit Moon: The Songs of Tom Waits is Southside's tribute to one of his favorite songwriters, but also a pet sound: big band music. The idea to marry the brassy, ballsy sound of a big band to Tom Waits' cinematic, character-driven songs has been sitting in the back of Southside's mind for sometime.
The title Swing Is Here would have been more appropriate for the 1930s instead of 1960 when this album was originally issued, and the big-band era had long since waned. Yet vibraphonist Terry Gibbs kept the home fires burning out in California with this exceptional orchestra of cool jazz giants playing a stack of standards and modern compositions by Bill Holman or Gibbs, and one look back with an Artie Shaw number. What is most interesting about these arrangements is that they are always different in emphasizing the fleet, dampened sound of Gibbs in contrast, apart from, or in tandem with the woodwinds and brass instruments.
During the war against advanced colo-rectal cancer (from 2006), which included two primary tumors and two recurrences, Fred Ho, hammered by massive chemo and radiation, found inspiration in the fight for his life from watching movies of The Greatest, Muhammad Ali. Ali s bold, militant, defiant and spirited resistance to the forces of American racism, combined with his élan, grace and humor (both poetical and personal), his indisputable athletic abilities and genius, and the inspiration to the world s peoples (especially the oppressed) and their embrace of him, served as constant inspiration to Fred Ho. During one of his recovery periods, Ho decided to compose a work for his Green Monster Big Band to honor The Greatest.
Prix Django Reinhardt, prix Boris Vian, prix audiovisuel de l'Europe, Django d'or, au fil des années, de clubs en concerts, d'enregistrements en festivals, à travers son jeu inventif et sa présence scènique, il s'est affirmé comme une des créatrices personnalités du jazz en europe. Le Monde, Francis Marmande : Le Big Band de Jean-Loup Longnon Trompettiste de tempérament, personnalité bruyante, Jean-Loup Longnon n'est jamais si vivant qu'à la tête de sa légion. Il aime les masses sonores, les chocs de sections, l'allégresse et la puissance que dégage une machine qui tourne. Il a les moyens de le faire savoir : l'entourage choisi, le goût de l'écriture et l'énergie communicative de la direction d'orchestre.