CD Spotlight

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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Photo: Erlyn Ordinario
 
Mark Harvey named 2015 Boston "Jazz Hero" PDF Print E-mail
Aardvark founder and musical director Mark Harvey has been named by The Jazz Journalists Association as Boston’s 2015 Jazz Hero.  The Jazz Heroes awards are made annually to recognize jazz leaders, activists and advocates across the United States.  Trumpeter-composer-band leader Mark Harvey has led important jazz initiatives in the greater Boston area and New England for more than four decades; has performed internationally and has recorded with many jazz luminaries; has received numerous awards and commissions; has been widely acclaimed by the international jazz media; teaches jazz studies and composition at MIT; and is a board member of Jazz Boston.    
  
 
JazzBoston will present this JJA Award to Mark Harvey on Sunday, May 3, in an event at the legendary Wally's Jazz Club, 427 Mass Ave, Boston, from 3 - 5 PM.  Music by the John Funkhouser Trio and musicians are invited to sit in. This will be one of the closing events of Jazz Week, April 24 - May 3.  www.jazzboston.org  for information on Jazz  Week. 
 
Recent Concert: New Music for Jazz Orchestra PDF Print E-mail
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra:  New Music for Jazz Orchestra  
Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 8:00 pm
MIT Kresge Auditorium
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139
 
The April 11 show featured premieres of new works by Mark Harvey, including Sisyphus of the Snow Banks, inspired by the recent record-setting snowfall in the Boston area; a free-form romp titled Out and Out; and the big band premiere of FiLmprov Cha Cha Cha, plus audience favorites  No Walls and De-Evolution Blues.   The band marked the Billy Strayhorn Centennial with his lovely ballad Almost Cried, from the movie Anatomy of a Murder.  Also, Aardvark honored the Boston Marathon survivors and victims, including MIT police officer Sean Collier, with Mark Harvey’s piece Commemoration (Boston 2013), given its premiere in 2014.
 
This concert was sponsored by MIT Music & Theater Arts as part of its Faculty Concert Series.
 
New CD: Impressions PDF Print E-mail
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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JazzTimes: Aardvark honoring Marathon bombing victims & heroes PDF Print E-mail
 The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, one of the longest running large jazz ensembles in the world, continues its historic 41st season with a concert of music by founder and music director Mark Harvey on Saturday April 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium. The centerpiece will be the world premiere of Harvey’s Commemoration (Boston 2013), a tribute to the victims and survivors of the Boston Marathon tragedy. No Walls, a staple of the Aardvark repertory, will be offered in a spirit of unity and healing. No Walls has been selected as the official song for JazzBoston’s Jazz Week (April 21-30, 2014). Also on tap: another Mark Harvey premiere, Spaceways,a celebration of Sun Ra in his centennial year. This concert is presented by MIT Music and Theater Arts, in conjunction with JazzBoston’s Jazz Week and the Smithsonian Institution’s observance of April as National Jazz Appreciation Month. Read the full article.  
 
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