CD Spotlight

Duke Ellington / Sacred Music (2002)
 CD features Ducal rarities - A Song for Christmas and Three Black Kings [first movement] - plus selections from the Sacred Concert repertory including Heaven, The Shepherd, Freedom, and David Danced with vocal soloists, tap dancer, and eighty voice choir [combined MIT Concert Choir and the Choir of Men and Boys from All Saints Parish, Ashmont, in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood]. As recorded by WGBH at the Ellington Centennial concert at MIT in 1999.
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Newest CD: Passages
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra CD, Passages (2016) Leo Records

Released April 2016

Passages (Leo Records) 

The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra continued its 43rd season on MIT’s mainstage, Kresge Auditorium, with a concert showcasing the North American release of the band’s 14th CD, Passages (Leo Records), featuring compositions by Aardvark music director Mark Harvey.  The CD has already garnered rave reviews in Europe:

Fresh….unconventional….Aardvark Jazz Orchestra proves once more its reputation as one of the best jazz ensembles in the world.  - Jazz Podium, Germany

Highly imaginative and varied music which is marvelously suggestive of its themes….The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra play beautifully all the way through the album.  It speaks an extraordinary dialectic, harmonious though bizarrely ruminating.  Exceptional music indeed.  - Jazz Views (UK)

In the April 2016 show, Aardvark performed the centerpiece of the new CD, Commemoration (Boston 2013), a tribute to the victims and survivors of the Boston Marathon tragedy.  In addition, Harvey presented Dreaming (2014) and No Walls (2004), and premieres of his latest works Fluctuations and By the Way.

Order your CD today: Send a check for $15, (s & h  included), made payable to Aardvark, c/o Mark Harvey, PO  Box 8721, JFK Station, Boston, MA 02114 

 
CD: Impressions
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra CD Impressions
The new CD “IMPRESSIONS” features seven compositions by Aardvark music director Mark Harvey that Francois Couture has called “highly enjoyable . . . with convincing writing and strong performances.” (Monsieur Delire/Canada).  The music conjures up a variety of moods, emotions, and tone colors, as well as inspirations from socio-cultural events in Boston’s history, such as the struggle for desegregation of the public schools, the urban renewal fiasco of the old West End neighborhood, and the tragedy of Sacco and Vanzetti.  This exploratory music ranges from the lyrical to the Dada-esque, from the meditative to the monumental.  

Reviews of the recording are enthusiastic:

“Exceptional music”  Ken Cheetham, Jazz Views

“Strange, brooding harmonic language…beautiful playing throughout” Jon Garelick, The Artery/WBUR Radio

“It’s great music. Aardvark have an eloquence in their improvisation written inside the art of orchestration.  A pity Duke and The Count can’t hear where their great art form has gotten to.”  Steve Davis/What’s New Jazz Magazine, UK
 
Click Read More below for ordering information. 
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"Evocations" among NYC Jazz Record Best of '12

We're pleased to announce that Aardvark’s new CD, Evocations (Leo Records) has been named to The New York City Jazz Record’s Best of 2012, Large Ensemble Releases!  

 Click here to view the full Best of 2012 listings  (PDF, opens in new window)  

 
11th CD Released: "EVOCATIONS"
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra EVOCATIONS CD
Already garnering enthusiastic reviews, EVOCATIONS, on Leo Records, one of the world's leading adventurous music labels, showcases the original compositions of music director Mark Harvey.   
 
These pieces display a masterful blend of jazz traditions and 20th-century music while allowing for much individual, collective, and conductor's improvisation. 
 
"a modern and absolutely unique sound"  
Jazz Podium    
(Germany) 
 
"filled with never-ending movement, change, turbulence, playfulness, contradictions...that not only works but also provokes and surprises" 
UNI Magazine
(Czech Republic)
 
Click "Read more" below for more info and 
Order Your CD Today!
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Aardvark Audio: Listen to MP3s

Listen to 5 selections from Aardvark's debut CD, Aardvark Steps Out, recognized as a great sampler of the band's range, "from screech to swing" as the Boston Phoenix said. 

Selected excerpts (click on a link to download MP3): 

  1. Echoes
  2. Scamology   
  3. For Edward    (full track)
  4. Blue Sequence  
  5. Freedom Song

Here is a sampling of response to this CD:

"Aardvark Steps Out, footprints a rumble with jurassic import and power. The uncontrollable aspects of a juggernaut unleashed provide much of the Aardvark's awe-inspiring audience fascination."  Downbeat

". . . relentless dedication to a cutting-edge approach . . . with exciting exploratory solos."  Boston Globe

"Aardvark Steps Out is a bracing walk on the wild side of the big band spectrum. . . Aardvark suggests the best and brashest of Charles Mingus, Gil Evans, George Russell, and even Frank Zappa. . . In all, a refreshing breath of spirited yet structured rebellion from the tried and true. On, Aardvark!"  Jazz Times

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American Agonistes: Music in Time of War (2007)

American Agonistes: Music in Time of War (Leo Records)
"Beautiful, poignant and raucous. . . This album drips with honesty,
intelligence, sound design, and art." Francois Couture, Billboard.com

"Truly impressive. . . a hit recording." Altrisuoni [Italy] 

To read more reviews, find out about the cd tracks, listen to sample MP3 clips, and to order, click the Read more... link below. 

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No Walls/A Christmas Concert (2007)

Aardvark Jazz Orchestra CD No Walls / A Christmas Concert (2007, Aardmuse)Celebrating the release of its 9th CD, No Walls/A Christmas Concert (Aardmuse label), the CD features carols from around the world and Mark Harvey’s piece No Walls, a tribute to Doctors Without Borders. The CD is available now!

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Trumpet Madness (2005)

Trumpet Madness, Aardvark Jazz Orchestra

Trumpet Madness features several wonderful trumpeters, as well as the entire Aardvark Orchestra in both solo and collective improvisational roles. Among the trumpeters are music director Mark Harvey, soloing on Taylor Ho Bynum's Concerto for Orchestra and Improviser, Berlin-based trumpeter Rajesh Mehta, featured on Harvey's Spirals which was written especially for Mehta and his percussion collaborator Paul Lovens, and trumpeters Harvey, Ho Bynum, Mehta, Greg Kelley, and Jeanne Snodgrass on the title tune Trumpet Madness, an improvisational tour de force. K.C. Dunbar, Jimmy Leach, and Eric Dahlman round out our trumpetistic panorama as they are heard to advantage on several other tracks on the recording.

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BethlehemCOUNTERPOINT (2002)
ImageCD features jazz legend Sheila Jordan whom the Music Hound Jazz Guide called "one of the most daring and distinctive vocalists in jazz" in the world; premier performance of Mark Harvey's Christmas Cantata, (written for and inspired by Kip Tiernan, Boston social activist and founder of Rosie's Place); other offerings include a soulful Gospel/blues rendition of Silent Night, a polyrhythmic Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella; and the Afro-Jazz smoker, Benedictus, from Harvey's jazz mass. Click image at right for a full-size view of CD art.
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The Seeker (2000)

Contents include the powerful Afro-jazz grooves of title track “The Seeker” (written for the Fifteenth Annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert), the evocative winds and piano of “Heartsong” (dedicated to Nobel Peace Prize recipient and Burmese democracy activist Daw Aung San Suu Kyi) and the multifaceted forty minute opus “Passages/Psalms IV” as given this past April in its premiere performance at MIT.

"This is imaginative, high energy music for the open ear, mind and heart."

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Duke Ellington / Sacred Music (2002)
 CD features Ducal rarities - A Song for Christmas and Three Black Kings [first movement] - plus selections from the Sacred Concert repertory including Heaven, The Shepherd, Freedom, and David Danced with vocal soloists, tap dancer, and eighty voice choir [combined MIT Concert Choir and the Choir of Men and Boys from All Saints Parish, Ashmont, in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood]. As recorded by WGBH at the Ellington Centennial concert at MIT in 1999.
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Psalms & Elegies (1997)
  This recording includes "Tiananmen Elegy," "Don Cherry's Song of Beauty" and
"Psalms" recorded live at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.

Here is a sampling of response to this recording:

"There's an all-pervading honesty to this music, both in its conception and execution. The latter aspect depends on the ensemble's notable precision and the strength of its soloists . . . Harvey's compositions unfold naturally and forcefully . . . the music moves with logic and momentum. Aardvark gives one hope for the future of the large jazz ensemble. This is a very fine band, and a very fine album." Cadence

"A brave and unusual venture" The Wire

"The playing is spectacular, the music is adventurous, interesting and spiritual."
Cathy Austin, KZSU-FM
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An Aardvark Christmas (1997)

This recording contains carols from around the world in a wide variety of styles.Here is a sample of the response to this recording:

"The sound is a modern blend of jazz, classical, and multi- cultural folk music. . . Appalachian and African-American carols, a delightful calypso, and a New Orleans second-line styled version of "Jingle Bells". . . . if you've got big ears, you'll hear a lot of joy in this fine work."
JAZZIZ

 

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Paintings for Jazz Orchestra (1995)

Paintings for Jazz Orchestra (1995)This recording was inspired by six paintings by Stuart Davis. Here is a sampling of the response to this recording:

"Paintings is quite a success. . . genuinely contemporary big band jazz, likely to appeal to [those] who share an interest in Charles Ives and Duke Ellington."
Jazz Journal International

"Les soloistes et l'ecriture traduit parfaitment cette abstraction."
Jazz Magazine

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Aardvark Steps Out (1993)

Listen to 5 selections from Aardvark's debut CD, Aardvark Steps Out, recognized as a great sampler of the band's range, "from screech to swing" as the Boston Phoenix said. 

Selected excerpts (click on a link to download MP3):

  1. Echoes
  2. Scamology   
  3. For Edward    (full track)
  4. Blue Sequence  
  5. Freedom Song

Here is a sampling of response to this CD:

"Aardvark Steps Out, footprints a rumble with jurassic import and power. The uncontrollable aspects of a juggernaut unleashed provide much of the Aardvark's awe-inspiring audience fascination."  Downbeat

". . . relentless dedication to a cutting-edge approach . . . with exciting exploratory solos."  Boston Globe

"Aardvark Steps Out is a bracing walk on the wild side of the big band spectrum. . . Aardvark suggests the best and brashest of Charles Mingus, Gil Evans, George Russell, and even Frank Zappa. . . In all, a refreshing breath of spirited yet structured rebellion from the tried and true. On, Aardvark!"  Jazz Times

Read more...
 
'72 Harvey, Cheatham Recordings Re-Released

ImageLong-time stellar saxophonist ARNI CHEATHAM and music director MARK HARVEY both have "new" recordings available on the Internet. Actually, these are digital download re-releases of LPs that appeared in 1972.

Part of the new "Massachusetts Underground Jazz Series" produced by Andrew Shrock and www.ReRelease.net, these albums, and more to follow by an array of other artists from that period, provide rich aural portraits of the vibrant music scene in Boston and environs more than three decades ago.

Arni is joined by his band "Thing" which is also the title of the album. Mark collaborates with fellow Aardvarkians PETER BLOOM and CRAIG ELLIS in "The Mark Harvey Group In Concert" recording.

Challenging, exploratory music for adventurous ears!

 Tracks:

1 Invocation pt. 1  8:47

2 Invocation pt. 2  5:59

3  Invocation pt. 3  8:50

4 For Margot  0:56

5 Tarot: The Moon pt. 1   3:34

6 Tarot: The Moon pt. 2   7:44

7 Tarot: The Moon pt. 3  5:58  

 

Read/hear more here:

 

 

 
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