CD Spotlight

BethlehemCOUNTERPOINT (2002)
BethlehemCOUNTERPOINT (2002)CD 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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Photo: Erlyn Ordinario
 
Sat. 11/02: Aardvark Election Special PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 8:00 pm
MIT Killian Hall, 160 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA
Free admission.   Information:  617 452-3205
 
Aardvark continues its historic 42nd season with an election-year special November 1 at MIT’s Killian Hall. The band takes the pulse of politics and culture with selections like DeEvolution Blues, Through the Looking Glass Blues, and Keepin' On, from the band's latest CD Impressions (Leo Records). The social consciousness thread in jazz runs from Ellington through Mingus and on to Charlie Haden and Archie Shepp, and Aardvark has mined this important tradition for many years.
 
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
 
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Recent: 10/26: Aardvark Celebrates Claremont NHs 250th PDF Print E-mail
The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra
Claremont, New Hampshire 250th Anniversary Celebration
Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm
Claremont Opera House
58 Opera House Square, Claremont, NH 03743

The concert featured the world premiere of Mark Harvey’s Claremont Suite, commissioned for the occasion. The legendary Aardvark Jazz Orchestra was featured in the 250th Anniversary Celebration of the City of Claremont New Hampshire  on October 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm at the Claremont Opera House.  

Aardvark’s show, called Big Band Panorama: Swing Era Classics to Modern Gems, was a tribute to the long tradition of jazz in Claremont.  The city was a New Hampshire mainstay for touring bands in the Swing Era.  Pieces like Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade and Duke Ellington's I'm Beginning to See the Light recall visits by those luminaries.  Aardvark evoked the modern era with Dizzy Gillespie's rhythmically infectious Manteca and selections from the exhilarating Ellington-Strayhorn Far East Suite.  The grand finale was the world premiere of Mark Harvey’s captivating Claremont Suite, a kaleidoscopic update of the jazz spectrum, commissioned by the City of Claremont especially for this occasion, performed by Aardvark and the Claremont Community Jazz Band.

 
Recent: 10/02: Scullers CD Release Party PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 8:00 pm
The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra:  42nd Season Opener and CD Release Party!  
Aardvark and fans celebrated the North American Release of Aardvark’s 12th CD, Impressions (Leo Records)
Scullers Jazz Club
Doubletree Guest Suites, 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston, MA www.scullersjazz.com

Aardvark opened its 42nd season with a show celebrating the North American release of the band’s 12th CD, Impressions (Leo Records), featuring compositions by Aardvark music director Mark Harvey.  The band performed selections from the new CD (The Journey, recalling struggles for school desegregation, and West End Rundown), plus a rare Django Reinhardt composition Manoir de mes Reves, arranged by Bob Brookmeyer, as well as Gerry Mulligan's seldom heard A Ballad.  Rounding out the show was Dizzy Gillespie's Manteca, and the Mary Lou Williams classic Roll 'Em
 
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